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Monkeys paw

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With close reference to the story's language, structure and content, explain how successful you think Jacobs is in creating an atmosphere of suspense, drama and terror in "the monkeys paw" W.W Jacobs's short story "the monkeys paw" is a typical Victorian horror story. The short horror story was extremely popular with the Victorians, and writers such as Jacobs along with others such as H.G Wells ensured the genres popularity. However the popularity of the short story owed a great deal to the changing socio-economic factors of the time. During the late 1800's and early 1900's educational reform meant that standards of literacy were vastly improved and thus the demand for reading material increased. The short story was accessible and relatively cheap compared too the novels of the time and so the short story became very popular as the Victorians developed a great fondness for this particular form of prose. Along with these factors many short stories were also serialised in newspapers or magazines witch only added to the audience that they wee reaching. The themes and issues used in the monkeys paw would have been of particular interest to the Victorian reader and would have possibly been quite thrilling. ...read more.


The writer also creates an ominous mood with; "The words died away" Again the writer hints to what might happen on latter in the story by using words such as "died" to describe the scene. Along with the writer creating a sense of suspense, he also uses language to add to the mysticism of the monkeys paw "The visitor from distant parts...spoke of wild scenes...and strange peoples" This use of language associates the visitor with mystery, words such as "Wild" and "Strange" add to the ominous feeling of the scene and make the reader aware that there is more to come from the monkeys paw The writer also lets the reader now how important the paw is and how much power it possesses; "His tones were so grave that a hush fell upon the group" "If you keep it, don't blame me for what happens" "The sergeant-major with a look of alarm on his face, caught him by the arm. "If you must wish" he said gruffly "wish for something sensible"" The seriousness that the visitor talks about the paw with makes it quite clear that the paw possesses great power and must be used with extreme caution, this only adds to the atmosphere of suspense and terror. ...read more.


This again adds to the sense of terror and it would seem that something else bad has come of using the paw to wish for something, or perhaps it is a happy ending. Personally, I think that W.W Jacobs is very successful in creating an atmosphere of suspense, drama and terror. The writer uses language and structure extremely well to create a terrifying and ominous story. The Victorians would have certainly found this far scarier than we do today. The Victorians would have found far more truth and much more fear in the story. Although we today are subjected to more horrifying scenes on amore regular basis I still think that the modern reader can find fear I the story, but not to the same degree as the audience it was written for. Although the reader may not be as fearful of the story, the writer still uses themes typical of horror stories, even today. The writer sets the story in a typical horror story setting and uses tricks such as withholding information to add suspense and drama to the story, just as modern horrors do today. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework ...read more.

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