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Pre 1914 Prose Coursework

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Pre 1914 Prose Coursework In this essay I am going to compare The Monkey's Paw by W.W Jacobs and The Red Room by H.G Wells examining how the writers create suspense. Both stories were written during the Victorian period. The stories are similar in the following ways, they both have an unknown which in the Monkeys paw is the Monkeys paw and in the Red Room the unknown is the shadows which represents fear. The way the themes compare is that both stories were to do with strange and frightening things. For Monkeys paw the them is that fate ruled peoples lives and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow, which meaning something sinister is going to happen and in the Red Room the theme is fear, darkness and shadows which represent fear. Both writers use different techniques in creating sinister settings to their suspense. In the Red Room the author uses 1st person, which makes the reader feel more involved in the story and it emphasises the emotions felt by the reader. When using 1st person the narrator is the central character. For the Monkeys Paw W.W. ...read more.


He is sympathetic at the end towards the man, he is one of the old people which changes during the course of the story. He goes from being abruct at the beginning to sympathetic towards the narrator at the end. What we know of the man, is that he is 28 years old and that he is going to go into the Red Room to show that there's nothing unearthly about the room. The young man himself, the central character changes his attitude throughout the story. At first he is sceptic, challenges the existence of he ghost. "It will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me", but as the story goes on he becomes panicky, paranoid and worried. "It was after midnight that the candle in the alcove suddenly went out". He admits at the end that there is something sinister about the room. The writers use other effective techniques throughout their stories which help to enhance the level of suspense. In the Monkeys Paw Jacobs increases the tention and suspense when describing the climax of the story. He quickens the pace after the funeral of the son e.g. hysterically and rapidly, rapid exchange of dialogue, and sounds of silence, 'A Stair creaked and a squeaky mouse scurred'. ...read more.


In conclusion, it could be argued that both stories were very effective in creating suspense. I felt that the Monkeys Paw was more effective in creating a feeling of fear and sinister because you knew something sinister was going to happen, but you didn't know what. No one would of thought that it would be kill the son, but then you think back when he saw faces in the fire and you think was it himself he was seeing in the fire. I just felt that the Monkeys Paw had more tention and wanted me personally to want to read on more to see that happens, than I did with the Red Room. The particular weaknesses and strengths in both stories were either of the stories I didn't know what was actually going to happen. I knew something unpleasant would but didn't know what, especially the son dying because of the paw. Also I felt the way the writers both wrote their stories, made me want to carry on reading. However I felt a weakness in The Red Room was that the ending was unexplained and not that tragic, compared to Monkeys Paw it was a tragic ending. But after reading both stories I thoroughly enjoyed reading them, and seeing the different language written in the Victorian times. ...read more.

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