• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing "The Darkness Out There" by Penelope Lively, with "The Black Veil" by Charles Dickens - In what ways do they reflect the times in which they were written and the tastes of the particular audience?

Extracts from this document...


Comparing "The Darkness Out There" by Penelope Lively, with "The Black Veil" by Charles Dickens In what ways do they reflect the times in which they were written and the tastes of the particular audience? Throughout this coursework I will be comparing the texts, "The Darkness Out There" and "The Black Veil". I will look at the similarities and differences both texts have in comparison and comment on the way they affected the audience of their particular times. "The Darkness Out There" is a typical fairy story written in the mid fourties by Penelope Lively. The story doesn't tell us this but we can assume the date with the mentioning of such items as an "Aero Bar" and a "Blue Escort". The story begins with Sandra a young, pretty girl on her way to Old Mrs Rutters house to help her for the day, on her way she meets "slitty eyed" Kerry Stevens a fellow member of the Good Neighbours Club sent to help Mrs Rutter aswell. Kerry doesn't "go much for her" and can see that she isn't all that she seems while Sandra thinks she's just a normal, old lady. Mrs Rutter tells Kerry and Sandra about how her and her sister left a German pilot to die. Both are disgusted and shocked, Sandra realises a lot about herself and how she has experienced "an inescapable darkness". In contrast, "The Black Veil" was written by Charles Dickens in the year 1800, we can tell the date this text was written by things mentioned such as "hanging" and the date actually being mentioned in the opening lines. "The Black Veil" is about a young surgeon who encounters his first patient as a ghostly figure in a "black veil". The figure asks the surgeon to help her for someone else but can only be treated the next day. After many questions from the confused surgeon he agrees to treat the person, only to find he that he is presented with a dead corpse, hanged for stealing. ...read more.


Nowadays it takes more than money to fit into society unlike the Victorian times when money was everything it even separated people into classes. For example the surgeon is nice and intelligent, he fits into his upper class society because he has money and he has a good job. Because of this, the mysterious women may have gone to the surgeon for help because she feels he has the power to help with the amount of money and education he has. The son of the woman in "The Black Veil" probably ended up stealing because he needed money to provide for his mother, if he had been in a different society where everyone was equal and help was given to the less fortunate he wouldn't have had to steal. The mysterious women in 'The Black Veil' wears a black veil to hide her identity because she doesn't want anyone knowing she was the mother of a son who had been stealing as she is trying to fit into society and doesn't want to be discriminated against just because her son committed a crime. Both "The Black Veil" and "The Darkness Out There" portray two different societies where different actions are made by the characters to fit in with the times they were written in. Characters from both texts change and develop into something we don't expect by the end of reading them. Our view of old Mrs Rutter is meant to change because at first we expect her to be a nice old lady who has lived a proper respectable life and now in her old age needs people to help her with her house work. But as we later discover she isn't 'a dear old thing' like she was described earlier on in the story as she shows no remorse for leaving someone to die and even explains how she laughingly said to him 'you had this coming to you mate' and then cheered when she found out it was a German plane. ...read more.


Both Lively and Dickens say different things about society as they were written at different times to each other. Dickens tells us that money was a key factor in succeeding as it brought education to them who were wealthy and a life of crime to those less fortunate. Lively tells us that in a modern era we judge people by the way they look then are terribly surprised when we realise that we were totally wrong, this changes the way we look at people from then on and perhaps the way we see ourselves. Both writers have morals to their stories as they want to make us respond in reading both their texts with our actions as for us to think when we believe someone is a good or scary person without actually meeting them. My personal response to "The Black Veil" was that of a horrified nature, I couldn't believe the person in need of help was the woman's son and how desperate he must have been. It made me think about how poor people must live and the extreme things they do in order to keep themselves alive. My response to "The Darkness Out There" was different in that I was shocked by what Mrs Rutter had told Kerry and Sandra and I also questioned the way I looked upon people I don't really know. I enjoyed the suspense in "The Black Veil" and not knowing what was going to happen but was disappointed by the fact that to finish an authorial intervention was used as it brought the story to a boring end. In "The Darkness Out There" I enjoyed how Lively made out that everything was pretty and innocent when really it only seemed that way. The thing that didn't make me enjoy this story in as much parts as "The Black Veil" did was that it didn't have enough mystery and suspense. Overall both stories have morals about society and successfully have them put across in "horror" stories used to shock and disturb making you think about your actions. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Joseph Conrad essays

  1. Explore the themes of justace and things not being as they seem in The ...

    The writers have chosen these settings because they have a dark and mysterious feel to them, even though in 'The Darkness Out There' it starts with Sandra, the girl in it, walking on a hot day through a field with flowers around her and the wind blowing in her hair,

  2. Discuss The Title Of Conrad's Novel 'Heart Of Darkness'.

    On finding Kurtz in the middle of the Heart of Darkness, it becomes immediately apparent that Kurtz does not wholly fulfil his reputation. Marlow immediately sees heads of Kurtz's victims on poles surrounding his hut. This could be a show of strength from Kurtz, heightening his ego, yet is completely

  1. Heart of Darkness. Discuss the variety of ways in which the title of ...

    He claims that Conrad is a 'bloody racist', and is actually supporting colonialism in his dehumanisation of the Africans and his portrayal of them as 'cannibals' and 'savages'. Another important element in the 'Heart of Darkness' is Marlow's realisation of his own heart of darkness.

  2. With Reference to the designated extract from Heart of Darkness write a detailed analysis. ...

    This is most evident when studying the narrative. The plot is obscured a number of times throughout, and it is unclear exactly where the climax occurs. This is somewhat common in modernistic literature as it makes the focus of the text fall upon a search for meaning.

  1. Heart of Darkness - Through a detailed analysis of a passage of your choice ...

    somewhat intangible and incomplete just as his words have no explicit meaning, yet encapsulating a wealth of interpretation. We must appreciate that both, Marlow and we as the reader are searching for a meaning to these events and experiences through the articulation of ideas, however there are moments where the power of language is unable to convey certain notions.

  2. How do the authors of the two novels 'Broken April' and 'The Thief and ...

    These aspects of his character are highlighted by the dark images throughout the novel. In both the novels, perhaps the most important symbol of darkness is fear. In Broken April, darkness reflects Gjorgs fear of death. The 'gray sky'1, which the author has described as lonely and spread out, is a metaphor for Gjorg's state of mind.

  1. Is The Secret Shareran appropriate title for this short story? Support your ideas with ...

    The title can be interpreted into different meanings all of which can be associated directly to the story. The title focuses wholly on the relationship between the captain and Legatt Transformationcoad adr seadadw orad adk inad foad ad. A critical analysis of the main character, The Captain of the unnamed

  2. According to Seamus Deane, Translations is a play about

    Forced to work under the conditions of European mechanical labour, the natives acquired expressions of the "deathlike indifference of unhappy savages" as they became reduced to "nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation". The "civilised" colonists place the "savages" in chain gangs, enslaving them; eliminating their identities and breaking their spirit as a people.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work