• 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 Old Nurse's Story," by Elizabeth Gaskell to show how both authors present an element of evil in the story and in the characters.

Extracts from this document...


Comparing, "The Darkness Out There," by Penelope Lively with, "The Old Nurse's Story," by Elizabeth Gaskell to show how both authors present an element of evil in the story and in the characters. I have been given the task of comparing two stories that have an element of evil in them. They are written in two totally different styles, maybe because of the century both of them were written. During this essay I will discuss the way each story is written, how and why certain effects are achieved and what elements contribute to the mood of the story. Elizabeth Gaskell was born on September. 29th in 1810 in Chelsea in London and died on November. 12th in 1865, near Alton in Hampshire. English novelist and short-story writer. An important thing to look at when studying a story, in my opinion, is the title. Titles of some stories give away the plots or endings, where others are completely abstract and thought provoking, providing no clue as to what the story will be about. "The Darkness Out There" and The Old Nurse's Story are good examples of this. They give away that the story is about an evil or harmless act or a story being told by the Old Nurse, but nothing so as to spoil the plot or ending. This is beneficial to the reader, who would be able to get more involved in the story as more of the plot unfolds. A story with a title that gives away the plot has advantages and disadvantages. Giving away some of the plot could make someone interested and make him or her want to know how that certain thing happened, for example, what the darkness out there really is. A lot of the time, this is not always the case. In some cases, the plot is given away too much by the title, which makes the story less exciting and enjoyable for the reader. ...read more.


Hester narrates the story with uncertainty she learns as the reader learns. Voice of narrator is very much of social setting in previous century. Hester's voice shapes the story and influences the readers impression. Besides it being narrated in a different way both stories in one sense of narration are the same. Both stories find away of describing places and feelings in detail without running on. In "The Old Nurse's Story" slow, meandering builds up tension. Events are explained long after the events happen. The act of re-telling and passing of information is very important to the structure. Both stories use the build up of tension. The story builds up until you actually know the truth. Therefore you have an idea of what is happening but you have got no proof. For example, In "The Darkness Out There" you know something happened in Packers End because you later find out the truth. In "The Old Nurse's Story" the nurse never finds out the whole story until the end. At the beginning the perceptions of immature children are described but towards the end sense of maturing is described. Nurse found out about the element of evil in Mrs Furnival when she was older but Sandra and Kerry in "The Darkness Out There" learn about judgement and evil at an early age in life. The author in "The Darkness Out There" may be writing to teach moral views. For example, do not judge, because Sandra judges Mrs Rutter and Kerry. Sandra thinks as Mrs Rutter is old she is innocent of all evil. Sandra thinks Kerry is suspicious. Penelope Lively may be trying to teach us that evil lies in all of us. She is also trying to teach us that stereotypical attitudes are misleading. In "The Old Nurse's Story" it teaches you that the past is inescapable. Status and the way in which you conduct yourself is regarded as important. ...read more.


The way he wrote about the raven saying "Nevermore" at the end of each verse gave the plot more continuation because it provided a reason for man to keep reacting to in the next verse. It made me wonder whether the raven would say anything else so it kept me interested. The verses and the rhyming patterns are very structured, which linked each verse of the story together because they were of similar length and sound. The way the rhyming of the 'ore' sound kept appearing in the same places in each verse gave the poem more rhythm and familiarity and linked the verses together even more because I was able to tell when the next rhyme would be. In "Man Overboard", Churchill links the song with the setting very well. This is very important because the song is the cause of the ending of the story. "Rowdy Dowdy Boys" is a sea song and as the story is set on a ship, this makes it very appropriate and makes the atmosphere feel more realistic. It makes it easier to imagine the song being sung in its surroundings and puts the story into context more effectively. The main difference between these two stories is the type of language they contain because of the different periods they were written in, and the effect the language has on the style of the story. "The Old Nurse's Story" and "The Darkness Out There were written in different periods of history. "The Old Nurse's Story" uses a more formal style of English.. The style of writing in "The Darkness Out There" may still be used in writing today. The style of language used in each story makes them very different from each other and we can identify the period in which they were written in very easily by looking at some of the words used and things written about that were popular at that time. I found that both stories contain many realistic and relevant ideas about morals and the contrasting behaviour of adults and children. Mukwinda Phiri 10Wn English 7 ...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 Mary Shelley 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 Mary Shelley essays

  1. Frankenstien essay

    He says that he was ambitious when he was young and didn't really think about the consequences. He feels although he has sunk low and hasn't done anything good for mankind, which is what he had intended. Walton also has the same intention of becoming remembered in history, but he too had not thought about the consequences.

  2. Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and William Golding's 'Lord Of The Flies' both portray 'the evil ...

    The settings of the two novels have important effects on the outcome. The island on Lord of the Flies can be seen a prison, where the boys are trapped with no means of escape. This, along with lack of authority, causes them to turn on each other.

  1. Comparing The Foghorn and The Sea Raiders

    There was a flicker of a tail. In all, from head to tip of tail, I estimated the monster at ninety or a hundred feet." This description is that certain man's interpretation of this creature. McDunn says that the monster "is a dinosaur of some sort."

  2. 'Frankenstein is full of ideas and warnings which are relevant to a modern audience.' ...

    He goes on from this to busy himself with his project, and it becomes evident to the reader how it quickly takes over- Victor himself observes how it changes him, both physically and mentally; he becomes ill, neglecting his health for his studies, and by the end of it is a paranoid wreck.

  1. How do both authors show how science can be used irresponsibly to have a ...

    The two pieces are similar in that two of the main characters have good intentions before they create artificial life. In Frankenstein, Frankenstein intends to rid the world of disease: 'If I could banish disease from the human frame...' This signals Frankenstein's good intentions and humanity, moreover, it proves his ambition.

  2. Comparison of “The Darkness Out There” and “Frankenstein”.

    Such as, when Sandra is walking up to Mrs Rutters house and she is thinking of past goings on of Packers End, suddenly Kerry Stephans jumps out. We think it could be the 2 gypsy types spoke of earlier in the story, who threatened a young girl, but no its

  1. Compare three stories of suspense in three different styles of writing

    The novel contained various distinct ideas and philosophies about crucial and valuable subjects such as life, death and religion. The short story contained one plot and one main character and was a great deal easier to grasp. The plot was portrayed in a fair amount of detail and didn't contain any ideas or philosophies like the novel.

  2. 'The novel is a powerful examination of, challenge to, what is good and evil ...

    Many Critics over the years, and particularly those of the original reception of the novel, are in agreement that there is not a definite sense of morality offered to the readers from the text. It has been argued that Mary Shelley can be seen to be avoiding passing moral judgement upon the events discussed.

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