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The Signalman and The Monkeys Paw are carefully constructed stories. What methods do the writers use to gain, sustain and ultimately, to satisfy the readers interest?

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Introduction

'The Signalman' and 'The Monkeys Paw' are carefully constructed stories. What methods do the writers use to gain, sustain and ultimately, to satisfy the readers interest? These stories contain a lot of suspense and create a lot of pictures in the minds of the readers. Both 'The Monkeys Paw' and 'The Signalman' are both well thought out well-constructed stories. They contain many methods that are designed to keep the reader interested and eager to know what is about to happen. Without the correct use of these methods the book would become predictable and boring. One of the methods used to gain the readers attention in 'The Signalman' is the dropping of subtle hints of what is about to happen. In the case of 'The Signalman' this would be the three appearances the specter makes. The appearance of the specter creates questions like 'Why is he appearing?' and 'what does he want?' The specter gives hints of impending doom for the signalman but the question how then pops into the mind of the reader. The signalman tells the narrator that he has seen him before and the words 'Halloa below there' he has heard before too. Also when the narrator calls to the signalman from the top of the hillside he looks in the opposite direction at the red light instead of at the narrator. ...read more.

Middle

The reader is pretty sure the signalman will have an accident but is never sure how until the very end. Because of the way this story has been crafted it keeps the reader guessing and therefore interested until the very end. Dickens has completed his goal of sustain the readers interest by using the above strategies. Dickens obviously planned this out and thought about what to tell the reader. This is a well thought, out well planned, and well-written story. W.W Jacobs uses some of the same methods as dickens in his book 'The Monkeys Paw.' He starts off his story by telling the readers about a happy family that are living in a cozy little house. The farther mother and son live in the same house and play chess and take the Mickey out of each other. This cozy setting that W.W Jacobs has put us into makes us wonder what could possibly go wrong? Than while all these happy things are going on around the family Mr. White the farther says 'I shouldn't think he'll come tonight.' This sentence sparks off lots of questions in the reader like, who is not coming tonight? Why does the farther chose to mention this now? Are they afraid of this mans visit? Again Jacobs is creating these questions for the sake of keeping the reader interested. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mr. White makes the whish and the talisman moves again. The author now builds up the tension quickly and fast. He tells us how they are sat there waiting when they here a quiet knock on the door. Mr. White excuses it as a rat but Mrs. White knows it is her son. As she goes up to answer the door and unbolt it, Mr. White is down on his knees trying to find the paw to wish away his dead son. The tension and suspense has now been built up to a very high level. The reader is waiting to know what will happen and if Mr. White will get there before Mrs. White. In the end he does and when she opens the door all she finds is thin air. This story started off quiet slow with not much happening. This soon changed toward the end of the story where the pace was quickened a lot. This book was well written and thought out. The tension was built up as the story continued and the readers all got questions in their minds. This story in my view is a well-constructed one and satisfies the reader's interests well. W.W Jacobs has used many tactics to gain the reader's interest and they have all worked. He likes to put questions into the mind of the reader and change the pace of the book. This is another successful short story. ...read more.

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