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How does W.W Jacobs create fear and tension in his sotry, "the Monkey's Paw"?

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The Monkey's Paw 'The Monkey's Paw' is one of W.W Jacobs's most famous short stories. In 'The Monkey's Paw', Jacobs uses many different types of tone, language, and many other devices that create a really good mystery story. At the beginning of the story, the language is calm for the inside of the house, 'the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly.' Shows that inside the house was a cozy atmosphere compared with the language used to describe the outside. The inside atmosphere is also made stronger than the dark atmosphere outside by the presence of the strong family unit. Jacob's language that he uses in this part of the story could be seen as normal, but actually be talking about the future, for example, 'putting his king in such sharp and unnecessary perils' can be seen as describing the game of chess but replace 'king' with family and it portrays the future. This family is in danger as Morris arrives. Jacob's language in the description and actions of Morris make the reader think of him as the outside invading, however, the family circle is not broken yet, 'the little family circle regarding with eager interest this visitor from distant parts.' ...read more.


Instalment two opens with a small catch-up of the last instalment, this is a good idea of Jacobs's as it may have been one or two weeks since the reader had read the last part. The presence of the family unit is still there, Mrs. White 'following him (Herbert) to the door' shows the unity which will greater the upcoming tragedy. A time lapse then follows and the tragic events start happening, and the family starts to crumble. ' "Herbert will have some more of his funny remarks, I expect, when he comes home" ' This is ironic as he will not come home, but leaves the reader feeling he will be ok, which will make it even more shocking for the reader when the news arrives. Mr. And Mrs. White argue a little here, for the first time, representing some corruption, but it is also the mirror image of the final part, Mr. White convinced of the magic, Mrs. White trying to convince him it wasn't. Even so, greed also starts to show as Mrs. White is quite impatient, this could be her waiting for the money, which would represent greed entering the family. ...read more.


Mrs. White, almost crazed forces Mr. White to wish for Herbert back, Jacobs starts to make the reader feel terrible that this has happened to the family, but desperately wanting to read on to see the outcome. Jacobs's language slows down, but almost suddenly picks up again as the knocking on the door causes Mrs. White to try to open in, the tension skyrockets as it is a race of if Mrs. White can open the door before Mr. White can find the paw, the language is so fast paced the tension is likely at its highest as the reader is immersed in the dramatic climax. The tension stays right up until Mr. White 'frantically breathes his last wish', and the action is brought right down, with long, drawn out sentences as the terror dissipates and the story comes to it's conclusion. In conclusion, I think 'The Monkey's Paw' is a very well written mystery story, I think Jacobs, with his use of language keeps excitement, tension and suspense, and with the way the story unravels, the reader becomes very attached to the characters even though it is a short story, feeling emotions for the characters, such as sorrow. I think 'The Monkey's Paw' contains all the correct elements, and good language, so I think it is a very good mystery story. ...read more.

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