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'Compare "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W Jacobs with either "The Red Room" by H.G Wells or "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe, examining how the writer creates suspense in the stories.

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Introduction

'Compare "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W Jacobs with either "The Red Room" by H.G Wells or "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe, examining how the writer creates suspense in the stories. In this essay, I will be answering all the aspects of the question above, with my views and beliefs. I will then finish with a conclusion, stating who has created more suspense than the other through their stories. The monkeys paw is set in a typical horror story setting, an isolated, lonely place with no one around. The story is based around a talisman given to a family which can allegedly grant wishes. This of course has consequences, and it leaves the family who received the paw heart broken. The black cat is about a man who through various courses of action ends up killing a black cat that he cherished. The cat then comes back to haunt and distress him. Both stories are Gothic horror stories that build up suspense and tensions in different ways. The setting that is established in 'The Monkey's Paw,' is typical of the genre. A lonely house on a lonely street, no one else around. There is not a lot of civilisation around. If something were to happen, the family involved will have no where to run or anyone to call for help. ...read more.

Middle

By this I mean what led him to killing his cat and his wife. What could change a man so gravely, from being a kind and loving person to a reckless beast. It all can't be blamed on alcohol. Also, what made him drink so much in the first place? We read on to hopefully acquire answers to the questions in our minds. In the monkeys paw, the starting of the story has a lot of information and detail. Example could be of how the paw came to be, what it does, and it also hints to us the damage that can be caused by the paw. It goes down to us, of how we interpret information, and what we can pick up. This does reduce the levels of suspense and tension, as we know something is going to go wrong with the use of the paw, and we only have to wait for specific details. Although the beginning keeps us tuned, it does ruin the whole affect of the story. A right balance should be found to keep a gripping story. The Monkey's paw uses old words and old styles of language to build authenticity; this also helps the story seem life like. Words such as 'reverberated' and 'parlour' aren't used that commonly anymore, and could at times leave the readers confused, and force them to go through stories again, so that they better understand them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The characters in the Black Cat, especially the cat itself, build up a lot of suspense and tension. The wife isn't discussed that greatly in detail, but she does play an important part in the story when she is killed. The two cats used are probably the back bone of the story. They are good characters to have, as one; they are not humans and secondly are great for building tension. An animal is not usually the main character of horror stories. This adds a unique point to the story that makes us the reader want to read on. The common thing between the two stories is that they have both left us wondering what would probably happen next. We would read sequels if they existed, to clear up any questions, and that's why it builds up suspense. W.W Jacobs uses short, frantic sentences to build suspense and tension. Edgar Allen Poe uses long-winded sentences to build suspense with not a great deal of detail. I personally feel that both stories don't pack the suspense needed to scare us nowadays. But out of the two, I would have to say that Edgar Allen Poe is probably the closer of the two to scare us nowadays. We have seen too many zombie related films, but the twists and differences in the Black Cat probably make's it feel the better story. ?? ?? ?? ?? Riki Sharma ...read more.

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