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The supernatural has existed as long as human life.

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Introduction

Supernatural coursework Introduction. The supernatural has existed as long as human life. As soon as there was an awareness of the normal, people started questioning or imagining things that could not be explained by natural laws. Subjects such as death and how it cannot be controlled or the idea of creations turning against their maker have long been central to supernatural literature. Interest in the supernatural perhaps comes from people's natural excitement and suspense for things out of the ordinary. People both enjoy playing with their fears and trying to come to terms with and understand them through investigating supernatural issues. The Monkey's Paw written in the late 19th century by W.W.Jacobs reflects the Victorian's massive interest in the occult. The early 20th century, in which The Vampire of Kaldenstein by Frederick Cowles, was written, witnessed a wavering of established belief in Christianity in the West and the hideous World War, which might account for a continued interest in the supernatural. So the authors of the short stories responded to popular demand and created stories which manipulated reader's emotions and added dramatic drive. ...read more.

Middle

In his desire not to meddle with his own destiny, the soldier takes advantage of Mr and Mrs White feverish intent in the magic of the monkey's paw and puts it within their reach. Even though he throws it into the fire he is well aware of Mr and Mrs White's fascination which the writer makes clear when he describes Mr White: 'with a slight cry {he} stooped down and snatched {the paw} off.' The desperation is shown in the 'cry' and also the word 'snatched.' The Vampire of Kaldenstein takes place in Germany, on a mysterious unidentified ground. "We're not marked on my map" is an eerie and scary sentence that creates eagerness in the reader to find out what happens and where the unheard of village is. This story is quite predictable, unlike The Monkey's Paw, as there are hints and warnings of what is going to happen later on in the story. Like the nightmarish vision the hero receives on his first night staying at the inn. Frederick Cowles creates a horrifyingly sinister mood through his repeated description of the moonlight: 'there by the window and black against the moonlight was the figure of a tall man.' ...read more.

Conclusion

the military metaphor used to describe the dead son's repeated knocking as he tries to get in to his parents, ' a perfect fusillade of knocks reverberated through the house.' In The Monkey's Paw, it reminds us how hostile and ter rifying is the figure of the dead son. Similarly Cowles creates mood through his choice of metaphors. When the hero visits the chapel in the castle we are told that the place 'stank like a charnel house.' The strong verb 'stank' and the grim sense of dead bodies swiftly create a horrifying atmosphere. In conclusion, after reading both the stories, I think that The Monkey's Paw portrays the supernatural better that The Vampire Of Kaldenstein. Cowles uses more of the supernatural as it embodies the whole story, but is more predictable. In The Monkey's Paw you cannot ultimately tell if the events in the story were caused by magic or just coincidence and it leaves you wondering. The Monkey's Paw is less conversational, is more descriptive and gives the reader a better overall picture of the scene. The supernatural is good in any story but The Monkey's Paw has an open ending which involves us with the story yet again because it brings you back to the theme of suspense and what is going to happen next. ...read more.

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