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Discuss the similarities and differences in 'The Darkness Out There' written by Penelope Lively and 'The Black Veil' written by Charles Dickens.

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Introduction

Discuss the similarities and differences in 'The Darkness Out There' written by Penelope Lively and 'The Black Veil' written by Charles Dickens. Wide Reading Assignment The two stories that are being compared are 'The Darkness Out There' by Penelope Lively and 'The Black Veil' by Charles Dickens. The titles share similarities. They both contain words which hint at strange and mysterious happenings such as 'black', 'darkness' and 'veil'. 'The Darkness Out There' is about two normal children named Sandra and Kerry who go to an old lady's house as part of a club to which they are members of. The lady's name is Mrs Rutter. They start talking about a place called Packers End which is a big wood which is allegedly haunted. Mrs Rutter then tells them the true story. A German bomber crashed down in the woods during the war. She went out to look and saw that there was a pilot who was still alive. ...read more.

Middle

I think that Penelope Lively uses more modern language than Dickens because the story was written over a century after The Black Veil. Penelope Lively concentrates more on description and dialogue. Charles Dickens offers a male perspective and concentrates on the build up of tension and atmosphere in the play. The similarities between 'The Darkness Out There' and 'The Black Veil' are that they both start off with a nice sense of security. In 'The Darkness Out There' it starts with a girl walking through flowers with the sun shining in a field which sounds very relaxing. In 'The Black Veil' a young medical practitioner is sitting by a fire listening to the rain and wind in his dressing gown and slippers. The difference between 'The Darkness Out There' and 'The Black Veil' are that 'The Black Veil' is set a long time ago while 'The Darkness Out There' is set in a more modern time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then when the doctor is at the house he announces that the man she is asking about is dead, she goes into shock. In 'The Darkness Out There' the murder is that of a German pilot who crashes into Packers End but survives for a few days. In 'The Black Veil' a woman's son turns out to be hanged that same day she called the doctor. I was shocked in the ending of 'The Black Veil' because I would not have expected someone to bring her son's body back after it had just been hung. In 'The Darkness Out There' I would have thought that Sandra and Kerry would have understood just a little bit about what Mrs Rutter did but they didn't and left her house. I was shocked about how their opinions changed about her. My favourite story is 'The Darkness Out There' because it is longer than 'The Black Veil' which means that we got to learn more about the characters a bit more. I like the whole mystery about Packer's End and how it was solved. Christopher Parker ...read more.

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