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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 2002 words

GCSE English coursework: Short Gothic Tales

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

GCSE English coursework In these two short stories both authors write gothic tale stories. Both authors use gothic tale features e.g they use darkness, isolation and use of senses. Both authors' u similar methods to create tension e.g. they both use repetition and short sentences. They both use their senses e.g. in the monkeys paw they use their sense of hearing and feeling, for example they hear the door knocking and use a lot of sight through Mr.White cant see where the monkeys paw is and he use his sense of feeling to try and find it on the floor. In the signalman they use a lot of feeling, for example "It was made of a clammy stone, that became oozier and wetter as I went down." In "The monkeys paw" W.W.Jacobs creates tension several times e.g. when the sergeant-major says "Hold it up in your right hand and wish aloud" then says "But I warn you of the consequences," and then Mr.White wishes straight after. He makes a lot of tension when the man is walking back and forth outside of Mr.White' gate, and then when he finally comes to the door he starts to use short sentences and a lot of question asking e.g. "Is anything the matter? She asked breathlessly. Has anything happened to Herbert? What is it? What is it?" He creates a lot of tension at the end of the story when they wish Herbert to live again, there was several knock and as his wife goes to open the door he just gets to wish before his wife opens the door.

Middle

Jacobs uses sounds and noises effectively several times in the story e.g. the banging of the gate and the heavy footsteps of the sergeant walking to the front door. There was door banging upstairs mysteriously. There was sounds of weeping from outside in the nights. They could hear the stairs creak and a squeaky mouse scurried nosily through the wall shows how quiet they where. The weather is used effectively several times in the story e.g. towards the end when Mrs.White opens to the door hoping to see Herbert on the other side but when she opens it and "Cold wind rushed up the staircase," which shows that nothing was there and it's just a lonely atmosphere outside. Darkness adds tension in several parts of the story. One example of this is when Mr.White had a lit match and then, when the match went out, then when there was knocking at the door, the darkness created dark atmosphere because Mr.White couldn't fin the paw and it was tense if he was or wasn't going to find and wished to undo his last wish before his wife opened the door. In "The signalman" Charles Dickens creates tension by using a variety of techniques e.g. The story opens with a hook. It makes you want to know why the narrator was so interested about the signalman and why was the man looking down at the line instead of where the voice came from, it says to the reader that something has happened to this signalman and it has frightened him.

Conclusion

The author makes use of sounds to add tension. One example of this is when the signalman hears screams and cries when he is running after the thing that he is seeing. In my opinion 'The Monkeys Paw' by W.W.Jacobs is the most effective. There are several examples of The reader is drawn into this story because it has a hook, the opening paragraph tells you what kind of settings there is, which were isolated settings, which gives you a thought that it might be a horror or a ghost story. The reader is on the edge of his seat at several points in the story e.g. My favourite part and the best part of the story was when Herbert was joking with 'The Monkeys Paw' when he said "Well I don't see the money, and I never shall," then the next day he got caught in the machinery and died and the family received two hundred pounds in Herbert's will as compensation of the company. The conclusion is very effective because it makes a very tense atmosphere just before it ends and it gives you the feeling what would've happened if Mr.White didn't undo his second wish. It makes you want to know more about the story because you want to know will Mrs.White know that her husband used the third wish to demolish the second wish, and what will Mrs.White react to this. Also it makes you want to know if Mrs.White doesn't find out what her husband wished for will she be waiting and waiting for her son Herbert to relive.

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