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The Call & the Withered Arm

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The Call & The Withered Arm By Joseph Tinsley In this section of writing, I will be looking at 2 stories that deal with the supernatural and superstition. These stories are "The Call" written by after 1914 by Robert Westall and "The Withered Arm" written by Thomas Hardy before 1914. Today, we are not as superstitious as people were 100-200 years ago. The reason for this is advances in technology and science. Instead of thinking that sticking two pieces of metal together is magic, we call them magnets. We also know that if we add certain substances to a fire it will change it from it's ordinary yellow flame, it will go blue or green. If I was alive 150 years ago and I said that instead of using pen and paper we would be using a computer to present our work, I would be branded as mad and an outcast. Superstition is aroused to explain the supernatural. This occurred during the Victorian times, up to about 1900 where theories from scientists took over to explain things. I think that this is because nowadays we are more practically minded and during that time the people were more into god and used god to explain everything. ...read more.


This suggests another phone call, even worse than the previous three. This struck terror through Geoff and he slammed down the phone. Even though Meg and Geoff have been 'pushed' so far apart by these phone calls, Geoff still remain deeply involved with meg as he and Tom Brett, the director of the office, rush out and save meg from almost certain death. This brings them back together as Meg once again realizes the great amount of love that she has for Geoff. Meg and Geoff rang Tom Brett several times for advice on what to do. At first Tom Brett didn't believe what Geoff was telling him as Tom was very factual and dismissed this first call because Agnes said that there was fog but the met office disagreed with her. The fact that her husband was operating the locks which had stopped several years ago. This all changed as soon as Moresby Abbey lock as mentioned to him and he changed his mind about this being a hoax call. He didn't tell us why, only that "you'd think I was out of my tiny shiny." Thomas Hardy wrote "The Withered Arm" in 1882. This story also deals with superstition aroused by the supernatural. ...read more.


In this story, Gertrude is the innocent character. I say this because she is infact a victim of the supernatural and does not do any thing wrong. She is very like Meg in the "the call" as Meg hasn't done anything to get the phone calls. In "the withered arm" Brooks is very much an outcast. I get this impression from the villagers thinking that she is a witch and talking about her not to her but around her so she can hear it. Brooks, when milking the cows, sits on her own and does not talk to anyone. The only friends she has are her son and Gertrude. The friendship between Gertrude and Brooks only lasts for a few weeks which is longer than most. The language used is typical for the time it was written. It is very formal with long sentances and is also very descriptive. "And so the milkwoman's mind was as she returned home." I think that both stories are very good at putting across the superstition that is aroused by the supernatural. I think that "the call" is the better of the two stories at doing this. This is because the narrator keeps on building up the tension and may be because it is more modern of the two. This makes it more understandable to me and is more convincing to me as well ...read more.

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