• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

short stories coursework

Extracts from this document...


English Literature Coursework The two short stories that I have decided to compare are "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe and "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs. Each of these stories has their own individual plot but both are similar because each creates a sense of horror and suspense. They are very well known because horror and suspense stories are still as popular as they were when first written. A short story keeps the readers interest due to the fact that the writer has to squash the same amount of action into less space therefore the build up is shorter and not dragged out as can be in some stories. I have picked these two stories to write about because I enjoyed reading them, they were very exciting, and I could not wait to turn the page to see what was going to happen next. It would appear that the author of "The Monkey's Paw", W.W. Jacobs, got his idea of the Sergeant-Major Morris and the mummified paw from the British soldiers returning from the Far East as well as India, Hong Kong and South Africa. There were many Explorers and Scientists who returned from these countries with exciting news and new information which could explain Jacob's interest in these cultures. ...read more.


At the end of the story Mr White uses words such as "mutilated" to describe his son. This creates a sense of horror and helps the reader to visualise the monster that almost enters the house. "The Monkey's Paw" is all about a mysterious and magical object which causes havoc in a peaceful home however "The Tell Tale Heart" is about the mad ideas of an insane man. The author of "The Tell Tale Heart", Edgar Allen Poe lived a hard life. He suffered from depression and almost committed suicide. This helps us to understand how he could so easily write a story about a mad man, as if he were that man. He suffered from bad health and had a heart attack which might suggest why he wrote about a beating heart. The setting of this story is in the house of the old man. The time is midnight which everyone relates to being the bewitching hour. The fact that it is so late helps to create horror as it would be pitch black and even harder to see things around you, "to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked upon him while he slept." ...read more.


Both stories seem to have an object of evil. "The Monkey's Paw" has of course the bewitched "little paw, dried to a mummy." "The Tell-Tale Heart" has the "vulture eye". Each helps to create suspense as each seems to bring bad luck to the owner, quite often death. These two stories both create a feeling of despair. We can see that Mrs White is so desperate for her son and the feeling of despair is evident '"It is colder for my son." Said the old woman and wept afresh."' We also see this in "The Tell-Tale Heart" as the old man waits in fear and his heart beats so fast, "The old man's terror must have been extreme!" The difference between these stories is that in The Monkey's Paw the suspense is gradually increased until there is a climax. However in The Tell-Tale heart the suspense is created immediately as we wonder why he is dreadfully nervous. Each of these stories helps to create a sense of horror and suspense, from "The Monkey's Paw", with its twists of fate, to "The Tell-Tale Heart" and its insane murderer. However I prefer The Tell-Tale Heart as it gives us an insight into the mind of a mad man which I believe is scarier. I also believe that it is more genuine as W.W Jacobs went through similar situations himself. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe essays

  1. English narrative coursework

    Then how can the money change to blank papers? Everyone sat down to think about this calamity that had struck them not only the first time but four times in a row. Someone was playing games with them! The sun was setting and the men were deep in thoughts about their lives, about their future.

  2. "The short story is an ideal form for writers who want to create a ...

    Jacobs's life. "The Monkey's Paw" begins with a dreary, dismal and wet night setting describing the scene outside the Laburnam Villa. This contrasts with the warm, pleasant and inviting family atmosphere inside the house with the father and son playing chess as the mother watches the game.

  1. Comparison of two ghost stories

    Lauras decision to come back as a 'Nubian boy' was intended by Saki to mock colonialism, the policy of acquiring and keeping colonies. "To Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt" by Charles Dickens Describe what happens in the first part of the story: The narrator, whose name isn't mentioned, is a bachelor who works in a bank.

  2. Short stories

    Theodore had his riffle, and as he shot the lock of the door of the first building, he opened the door unsympathetically and found a man lien in the corridor.

  1. monkeys paw

    "But her husband was on his hands and ... frantically breathed his third and final wish" This shows us that he is really scared of what is outside and is trying to do anything to stop it from coming inside like when he tries to pull his wife back to stop her from opening the door.

  2. Jaws Coursework

    The amount of time for each attack was different, the audience got to witness more of the 4th of July attack this may be because Brody's son was involved. He was linked to the main character and so creating more of an impact on the audience if Brody's family are at risk and this keeps the audience watching.

  1. Victorian Villains

    He also has 'iron on his leg' this is another term for a tag that is placed on all prisoners, this shows yet another sign of danger, and also how he is a fugitive. He is a man 'soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and

  2. Alas hes mad. How true is Gertrudes statement about her son Hamlet?

    In Hamlet and Macbeth the supernatural is an vital part of the structure of the plot. In Hamlet it provides a catalyst for action by the characters. It gives an insight into the major players and it increases the impact of many key scenes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work