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Discuss the writers use of the supernatural in the withered arm and the monkey's paw

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Introduction

Discuss the writer's use of the supernatural in "The Monkey's Paw" and "The Withered Arm" Both the Withered Arm and the Monkey's Paw are set in 19th century England. They both contain supernatural events. A supernatural event is an occurrence that cannot be explained by the normal laws of nature. The Monkey's Paw focuses on the arrival of Sergeant Major Morris into the cosy White family home. The Sergeant has been serving in India for the last twenty years and has acquired a monkey's paw which he says, "It had a spell put on it by an old fakir, a very holy man" and it grants three wishes to its owner. Mr White, his wife and their son, Herbert are very curious, but the sergeant warns the family of the consequences and tells Mr White if he was to wish for something, it would be best wishing for something sensible. The sergeant leaves them with the paw and the White family discuss what they should wish for first. Mr White decides that he would like to pay off the mortgage so he wishes for two hundred pounds. They wait and see if something immediately happens. ...read more.

Middle

Six years passed and the Lodge's marriage had drifted from happiness into despair. The once blissful Gertrude had become an irritable, irrational woman whose spare moments were spent experimenting on her arm with every foolish remedy she could come across. What's more Mrs Lodge had brought her husband no son and every day Mr Lodge thought more about his son which had disappeared with his mother. After trying hundreds of medicines she still hadn't visited Conjuror Trendle since the day she had found out that her ailment had been caused by Rhoda by some means. In a last effort to cure her suffering Gertrude decided to visit Conjuror Trendle for one last time. When she asked him to help her heal her arm he asked her what remedies she had tried. Gertrude listed just a few of the hundred counter spells and enchantments. He approved of some, saying they would have worked on minor wounds but not on this. She pleaded with him, begging for him to help her to remove this curse from her. He did though say he knew one way in which she could lose her disfigurement but it would be difficult to carry out. ...read more.

Conclusion

So the irony is that Herbert will never actually see the money. In the Withered Arm the ironic twist is that when Gertrude was waiting for a hanging she got so desperate that she used to pray for a hanging "O Lord, hang some guilty or innocent person soon!" It turned out her prayers were answered but the man seen to be in the wrong turned out to be Farmer Lodges' and Rhoda Brooks' son but it seemed the boy was wrongfully charged with arson. At the hanging, Farmer Lodge and Rhoda were present in the crowd and once Gertrude had realized the hung man must be their son, she entered a sense of shock. This proved too much for her and she died. The irony is that she prayed for a man to be hung, so that she could cure herself but the man in the end was her husband's son and this did the opposite of curing her and the shock of it all ended her life. In conclusion, the writers use the supernatural to show the reader that if you ridicule the supernatural, it will backfire on you and you will feel the consequences greatly. Also they try and make you scared of the supernatural by making the paranormal events happen to normal people. Meaning it could have been you instead. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matt Molyneux ...read more.

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