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Comparison of "Black veil" and "The Darkness out There".

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Introduction

Comparison of "Black veil" and "The Darkness out There" The titles, "The Black Veil" and "The Darkness out There" implies that both stories hint at the darker aspects of life. " The Black Veil" was written early in Dickens' work, circa 1840's so it is a pre-twentieth century story. "The Darkness out There" is a more modern story written by Penelope Lively at around 1985. " The Black Veil" belongs to a horror, suspense genre, a classic thriller where the solution is provided at the end. It has a macabre element to it, showing people in extreme emotional states. The genre for "The Darkness out There" is less easy to recognize as it focuses mainly on a girl's development. Both stories involve a person who is naive at the beginning of the story, Sandra's fears in "The Darkness out There" are different at the beginning then they are at the end. She started off as having childish fears about "Packer's End," such as "enormous blokes" and "the woods," but she learns in the end that her real fears was "the darkness people" hide in themselves. Her cliched ideas proved not to be true; if they were, then the world would be a very comfortable place where "flowers sparkle and birds sing." Her future, which she thought was suffused with happiness, is now "unreliable" and unpredictable. Similarly, the surgeon in "The Black Veil" was also lead through a climatic experience in his life. ...read more.

Middle

Right at the end, the climax comes when the "dead man" is discovered and it is revealed that the corpse is the woman's "son." There is no resolution since Dickens leaves the reader where a moment of revelation is made. The reader is left with a mysterious, shocked feeling as they begin to make sense of her nonsense, yet we are left by ourselves to decide upon the reaction of the characters after the climax. Again, this is another example of how Dickens doesn't let out too much information: this time, it is up to the reader to decide what happens next. In "The Darkness Out There," the resolution underlines the theme. The reader is revealed that Sandra "realised with alarm" the truth about appearance and reality. Superficially, nature is beautiful "in which flowers sparkle," but underneath it all, is the dark, malicious side of it. The "darkness" is often inside people, therefore the story provides a unexpected, prehaps disturbing reversal of expectations in which "The Darkness" is "not out there" as one would expect from the connotations of the title. Both stories are written in third person narrative but it is almost like a first person narrative as a large percentage of the story is seen through one character's eyes. They are also both structurally similar, revealing information piece by piece, like a jigsaw waiting to be solved. "The Black Veil" conveys an air of suspense immediately. ...read more.

Conclusion

Initially, all she saw in him was a "greasy, spotty" boy but "she realised" that he "had" moral sensitivity and knew things about life that she failed to recognise. Both stories involve the present then go back to the past as the narrater is telling a story that happened several decades ago. The styles, however differ greatly, "The Black Veil" has a longer sentence structure as people in the Victorian times spent more time reading and had a longer attention span. Our attention span tends to be shorter as we are a visual culture and expect stories to move more quickly generally. "It will be readily believed" is an example of longer, more leisurely pacing of writing. "After plodding through the mud" and "the young man at length arrived" are longer, more multi-claused sentences. Because of these extended sentence structures, one would expect that a nineteenth century reader to persevere with this book, and other nineteenth century books. " The Darkness Out There" is a modern literature piece, the exposition is shorter, due to the fact that we have less reading patience now compared to people from the Victorian times. The general language is more direct and simple, paragraphs are less developed in terms of shorter detail and faster pacing, unlike the description of "Walworth," which was much more formal. Dickens referred to himself as "we," a slightly reserved way of addressing himself, prehaps to gain extra authority. "Packer's End" was described simply as "nasty" and "creepy," as in any modern story, the sentence structure is straightforward without many clauses in it. ...read more.

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