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Comparison of 'The Monkeys Paw' by W.W.Jacobs and 'The Red Room' by H G Wells.

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Introduction

Ghost stories have been around for hundreds of years and are written to scare and to excite people. People read Ghost stories because they enjoy being scared. This essay is about the comparisons between two quite different ghost stories written by two different authors: - 'The Monkeys Paw' by W.W.Jacobs and 'The Red Room' by H G Wells. 'The Red Room' is in many ways a stereotypical ghost story, set in a very big, dark and mysterious building, a castle in the middle of nowhere, written as a first person narrative. The characters are all very old and strange. They are all deformed or have something wrong with them making them quite scary. The author H G Wells is very famous for writing science fiction novels. In this story there are three background characters, two men and one female, all of them old. We are given very vague descriptions of them so are made to imagine the rest. The three of them are very weird, deformed characters. ...read more.

Middle

The narrator explains to the servants that the room is haunted but not by a specific person. He tells them that the room is haunted by fear. H G Wells scientific theory about the ghosts is that they are actually your own fear. People get so scared by what people have said that they create fears (subconsciously) and begin to see and believe in strange things. W.W.Jacobs wrote 'The Monkeys Paw' in 1908. It is a story based on the fairy tale idea of a man who has three wishes. It has very ordinary characters living in a very ordinary house in a mundane setting. The setting of this story is very different to that of 'The Red Room', which starts as a classic ghost story. In this story there are four main characters. We are not given much description of them. Mr and Mrs White live in a small house together with their son Herbert. The fourth character is 'Sergeant Major Morris' the only detail we find out about him is that he likes a bit of a drink. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both stories involve an old couple and a much younger man. In both the younger man is the victim of the ghosts or magic. Both stories manage to suggest great danger by someone trying to persuade someone else not to do something. In 'The Monkeys Paw' the sergeant major tries to persuade Mr White not to make the wishes. In 'The Red Room' the old servants try to convince the young male that it is not wise to spend a night in the room. 'The Red Room' has a very old theme to it. The castle is old, the servants are very old and the actual stories and tales of the room go back a long way. 'The Monkeys Paw' is about something exotic and magical. I prefer 'The Monkeys Paw', because it is easier to read and understand. It uses more straightforward English, whereas 'The Red Room' uses very sophisticated words and goes in to an extreme amount of explanation about everything, including the movements of the characters. That makes it a lot more tedious, a lot harder to read and less interesting. ...read more.

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