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In its day

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The Monkey's Paw In its day "The Monkey's Paw" was a very effective story. Referring to social and historical context discuss why this would have been so effective. The Monkey's Paw was written in the turn of the century which was the time of industrial revolution. Great industries and cities were building up all across the country but not everyone was involved in this change. Older and less educated people were getting left behind by the new technologies and education. This story reflects these changes in the society and shows us how an innocent world could be destroyed by the power of greed. The Monkey's paw would have been this effective of a story in its time because I think it had everything that needs to be in a horror story of anytime and I am going to show that in my essay. This story is written in the time when people didn't have a lot of social life, they were not highly educated and just had simple things as there pleasures and they were honest people who didn't earn a lot of money but earned enough to make the most of living. TV wasn't around at those times and the biggest form of entertainment for them was to listen to other people's experiences on travel and to have a family get together for a story reading and other things. Straight from the start of the story the writer puts the reader into a atmosphere where the reader will feels safe by setting the story where there is a father playing chess in a small parlour where the blind are drawn and the fire is burning showing no harm to anyone "... the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnum Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly, Father and son were at chess." shows that there was a bit of tension in the house of the White's as Mr White does not like loosing. ...read more.


Again the writer has kept the reader under suspense by introducing the visitor and connecting Mrs White with the wish leaving the reader wondering what is going to happen next. The stranger stopped three times at the door before entering in the door "Three times he paused at the gate, and then walked on again. The fourth time he stood with his hand upon it, and then with sudden resolution flung it open and walked up the path." shows that stranger was not feeling comfortable with entering the house, maybe he had a bad news but Mrs White could only see the good news coming. When the strange visitor entered the house he seemed like something was wrong "She brought the stranger, who seemed ill at ease, into the room." he just shows that he is not comfortable with the situation which again puts suspense into the readers mind as what news has this visitor got and what is he going to say if any because when Mrs White apologizes for her room looking messy he just stood there and listened to her "He gazed at her furtively, and listened in a preoccupied fashion as the old lady apologized for the appearance of the room" showing that he is very quiet and is probably busy with how he is going to deliver the news to Mrs White. By keeping the visitor quiet the writer keeps the suspense in the readers mind and makes the reader keep on reading to find out what is he going to say. Mrs White stays quiet as she can and waited for him to talk about his business and why is he here. The stranger at the time of speaking gets hesitant after a couple of words he stops again and buys himself time to think more about what he is going to say "I was asked to call," he said at last, and stooped and picked a piece of cotton from his trousers. ...read more.


A cold wind rushed up the staircase, and a long loud wail of disappointment and misery from his wife" this was a great disappointment for his wife and he realises that. At this point the story ends with a the horror finished and a silence around the street and the couple standing on the gate "The street lamp flickering opposite shone on a quiet and deserted road" this is the end setting and the atmosphere wish is very quiet and silent. "The Monkey's Paw" would have been an effective story in its time because this story has making of any good horror story that the audience of today will enjoy as well. I think this is because this story right at the start it shows a warm and friendly setting to the audience in the parlour of the White's but still shows some tension to the audience. The weather at the start also gave a feel of tension because nearly all the good horror stories are set in wet and stormy weather conditions which build up the tension. Also in the story you get to unexpected visitors who change the mood of the story and direction in which the story is going. These visitors also make introduce the story and the way things are going to work out i.e. Sergeant Major Morris introduces the paw and he also tells that there will be price to pay for the wish and then the manager of "Maw and Meggins" tells the White's that the price paid for the wish is your son, Herbert. "The Monkeys Paw" also would have been successful at its time because it was written as a simple story involving everything that would have been normal at the time i.e. the rats in the house were common at the time and that feel was put in the story. This gave a feel to the audience of the normal things at the time and it also showed the audience that this is not all work of imagination of the writer. Humza Sheikh ...read more.

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