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Explain what makes a good mystery story based on your understanding of "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacob.

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English Literature Coursework Pre 1914 Prose Explain what makes a good mystery story based on your understanding of "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacob. Simplicity is the key when it comes to the plot of a mystery story. Very few characters and not many sub-plots. If you have a complicated plot then the story is hard to follow and if there are a lot of characters then you can't build up the readers pity or understanding of a single character ,which is how good mystery stories work. The author makes us understand a character so that when something happens to them we have come to know them and ether want something bad to happen to them if they're a nasty character or you want them to get out of trouble if the character is likable. It is also possible that the author will aim to show us how a character can be changed by a traumatic or bad experience. It is therefore a bad idea to have many characters in a mystery story. "The Monkey's Paw" has very few important characters. ...read more.


White" has realised that which would knock on the door and how unlike his son it would be. He also knows that the sight of this would destroy his wife. "Mrs. White" has gone mad and will stop at nothing to got her son back. She commands her husband to "Wish!" which show her frustration and how desperate she is. This swap of character rolls is effective but only worked because we knew the characters and because the story never moved from them we could see it happening through the story. This is one of the things that makes a good mystery story. This slow change of characters is also part of the tension building in a mystery story. The tension in a mystery story is like the sea and the shore. It builds up and then goes down again but makes slow progress to reach the top of the beach or the climax of the story. No author could hold the tension at 100% all the time so this is very effective and this occasional drop of tension is were the reader gets to think what is going to happen to the characters. ...read more.


It also make any visitors more blatant because it is abnormal. The language used by the author has a big impact on the reader and story. "The Monkey's Paw" has a few well chose adverbs such as "hastily". The speed shows that something wants to be hidden and makes us want to know what is hidden. The choice of the noun "death" when talking about the wishes show the consequence of the other wishes which must have been bad. This makes the reader wonder whether the same will happen again. Speech can add to a mystery story as well. The three simple words " Two hundred pounds." that are said have such a massive effect that it in a way shocks the reader. In shot the things that make a good mystery story are a simple plot focusing on one or two things with red herrings. This give ample place to present the characters. The characters and their development are the main thing in a mystery story. The location and pathetic fallacy are important to building a subconscious belief of vulnerability. Speech and reaction to that are a key point in the development in the characters which is helped by the use of good nouns verbs and adverbs. ...read more.

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