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Consider How Deceptive Appearance and Reality is a Theme in “The Darkness Out There” by Penelope Lively.

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David Pearce Consider How Deceptive Appearance and Reality is a Theme in "The Darkness Out There" by Penelope Lively. This essay is aimed at investigating how deceptive appearances and reality is a theme in "The Darkness Out There". To do this, I will be examining the three main characters within the story and their judge of character. It is true that appearances can be very deceptive, as many people are judged upon what they look like instead of what they are really like in personality. To truly know a person, you need to understand how they feel and what their thoughts are, it is impossible to understand someone just by judging their appearance. This is shown in "The Darkness Out There" by the way that Sandra judges people, especially Mrs. Rutter and Kerry. Mrs. Rutter is an old lady that lives all on her own within a small cottage. She is described as a "dear old thing" by Pat, which shows us very early on within the story that people are judged by appearances instead of who they really are. ...read more.


Adopt a granny." And the jokey cartoon drawing of a dear old bod with specs on the end of her nose and a shawl. The story is set within Potters end, a dark and fairly grim place that was witness to a German airplane crash during WWII. This is an important factor of the story, as it reveals the truth about what Mrs. Rutter is really like, and changes Sandra's thought on older people, as well as Kerry. She thinks that Mrs. Rutter will be old and kind and that "old Mrs. Rutter with her wonky leg would be ever so pleased to see them because they were really sweet, lots of the old people". She tells Sandra and Kerry about the plane crash whilst drinking tea and of how she went up close to it and had seen the crew, one of them was "Sort of moaning." She continues to describe the accident: "there was three of them, two in the font and they were dead, you could see that all right, one of them had his . ...read more.


His anger eclipsed his acne, the patches of grease on his jeans, his lardy midriff. You could get people all wrong, she realised with alarm. You could get people wrong and there was a darkness that was not the darkness of tree shadows and murky undergrowth and you could not draw the curtains and keep it out because it was in your head, once known, in your head for ever like lines from a song. These lines clearly show she has changed the way she thinks about other people and the way in which she will view the world from now on. She says it will be with her forever and she will never be without it now that she knows what it is. She will never be able to see a person, no matter how nice and innocent they look, as just that. This shows clearly that the writer has used deceptive appearances as a strong theme in this story. She has used the theme to make the reader consider many aspects of life, including judgement of character. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

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