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

Using the story "Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs how the author creates fear and tension.

Extracts from this document...


Using the story "Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs how the author creates fear and tension. "Monkey's Paw" is a factual horror story with a lot of heightened action and emotion, which deals with mystery and death. The only thing that is seen is the drama within the house; this gives more tension and fear because you limits are you imagination. It is a short story therefore all the information has to be condensed as much as possible. The story was written during the nineteenth century, it is approximately 150 years old. It is about a monkey's paw that grants three wishes. In the story a family ask for their wishes however with each wish there were also consequences. From reading the first paragraph, there is a clear contrast in the way the outside and inside conditions are described. "Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly." The conditions of the outside area are reminiscent of horror settings; it was night, cold and wet. The characters in the story however, are indoors with the blinds drawn (as if to separate the house from the outdoors) and the fire burning. This creates a cosy and calm mood at first since the reader thinks that the characters are in no danger although some readers may be wary of possible sinister happenings due to the 'horror story' style description of the outside land. It is when the old soldier first enters the story that you realise that this will be a story based on the feelings of suspense and fear. ...read more.


The tone was now hopeful and the pace frantic. When Mrs. White first thinks of the idea that she hopes will bring her son back to life, she cries out; "The paw!" But her husband, having already seen his son's state after he had died, was afraid that the paw would bring Herbert back to life in the shreds that he was left in after the accident. This made him very negative towards his wife's plan. This contradiction carried on for enough time to make lots of tension; "go and get it and wish," cried his wife, quivering with excitement. The old man turned and regarded her, and his voice shook. "He has been dead ten days, and besides- I would not tell you else, but- I could only recognise him by his clothing. If he was too terrible for you to see then, how now?" If you look at the quotes taken above, you can see that Mrs. White was quivering in excitement while Mr. White's voice shook, I presume that this was from fear. The contradiction in their attitude is very dramatic and the tension lifts enormously while they continue to argue. Mr. White's fear actually helps scare the audience especially since his wife is wining the argument and this means that the reader can imagine Herbert rise from his grave in unrecognisable physical form. As the argument continues, I think the reader may start to be afraid of Mrs. White because her husband does and this can pass on to the readers; 'even his wife's face seemed changed as he entered the room. It was white and expectant and seemed to have an unnatural look upon it. He was afraid of her.' ...read more.


By now though, the reader will have worked out what this messenger has to say. By putting all the clues together you can guess that something has happened to Herbert at work. When the messenger beaks the news, I was not surprised or shocked, in fact I believe that it decreased atmosphere given but then the author went in to detail of Mr and Mrs White's reaction, increasing the fear and tension once more. Then the messenger gives them the statement "I beg that you understand that I am only their servant and merely obeying orders". When I read this I thought to myself "Oh! He is going to say it! That's wrong!" He says "I was to say that Maw and Meggins disclaim all responsibility." " They admit no liability, but in consideration of your son's services they wish to present you with a sum of compensation" up until this point everything is expected but when you hear "sum of ..." you begin to think as you read on but you set it aside until Mr White says "How much?" and just before you read it you know the answer "Two Hundred Pounds" you STOP! You fall back in disbelief. You awake in shock, you pause. You just think "WOW" In my eyes a beautifully constructed scene, it left me wanting more so I read on. The book uses suspense to keep interest of the reader, to leave him/her guessing of the possible outcome. I would recommend this short story to anyone. It is one of the best short pieces I have read. My sincere appreciation to W. W Jacobs for writing this well written and compelling short story, it is a very well told story. ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. Guilty or victim? - essay about The Force of Circumstance by W. Somerset Maugham

    I suppose that these kinds of actions are just selfishness. Of course, if Guy had not been sent back to the same post, the whole case would not have come to light and they could have lived happy ever after.

  2. Monkeys paw

    it hints to the fact that the father also suffers from alack of judgement which is demonstrated on several occasions later on in the story. The writer also creates a sense of expectation, making it more interesting, when the major comes to visit, he uses language like: "Heavy footsteps came

  1. Creative Writing story

    Who tied me up? Why was Pepper barking? But the most frequent question that went through my head, again and again, was where did Pepper go? As my mind began to tick, I gazed at the sky, baffled. I sat there, straining to hear a sound which signified that Pepper was okay.

  2. Is the Monkey's Paw an Effective Horror Story?

    The ending is also effective because it leaves the horrific thought that the Monkey's Paw is still able to go and destroy the lives of another family. The author was successful in building up tension towards the death of Herbert White.

  1. James Joyce - Dubliners. Eveline and The Boarding House.

    Not only that, but she came in on her bath night wearing only a "loose combing-jacket" so she makes no attempt at all to cover herself up, and as she has just had a bath she would be presenting

  2. Horror story coursework

    This links us to the "The Judge's house", where Malcolmson experienced sang froid, this is because ghosts are believed to bring a chill to any place they are present in, and so the visitor wanted to relieve his conscience of any theories.

  1. How are tension and a sense of mystery created in "The Red Room" and ...

    want to know what is going to happen next ' The matches fell from his hand. He stood motionless, his breath suspended until the knock was repeated.' The writer uses caesuras to add dramatic pauses, but also make the pace faster this builds up the tension and mystery as the

  2. How does W.W Jacobs create fear and tension in his sotry, "the Monkey's Paw"?

    This makes it look like Morris sees it as nothing, especially the 'off handedly' making it look like he tries to throw his words away, but it even greatly captures the family's attention, making them want it more. The questions the family asks are questions the reader may be wondering

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