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

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Introduction

Tahamtan Pishgharavol English coursework Monkey's Paw Using the story "Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs I shall explain how the author creates fear and tension. "Monkey's Paw" is a melodrama and a factual horror story with a lot of heightened action and emotion, which deals with mystery and death. All major horror scenes are unseen. The only thing that is seen is the drama within the house; this gives more tension and fear because you have to imagine the horror. 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 which grants three wishes. In the story a family ask for their wishes however with each wish there were also consequences. The mood at the start of the story is a nice, homely atmosphere, "the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess." This shows that inside every thing is calm and cosy. There are no feelings of dismay. ...read more.

Middle

mysterious movements of a man outside, who, peering in an undecided fashion at the house, appeared to be trying to make up his mind to enter." There is also a sense of fear because of the way he is dressed, "she noticed that the stranger was well dressed, and wore a silk hat of glossy newness." This was obviously related to the wish they made for �200. Tension is developed with the stranger's actions, "Three times he passed the gate, and walked on again. The forth time he stood with his hand upon it", this give a fear of the unknown. Mrs White does not know who this stranger is, and what he wants and neither do the readers. When we hear what has happened to Herbert we believe that the monkey's paw is magical and we wonder what else may happen in relation to it. When the parents realise that Herbert has died that's when the tension and fear has risen to the maximum. Both parents react differently. The mother is hysterical, "laid her trembling old hand upon his." and the father is just stunned, "Caught in the machinery, repeated Mr White in a dazed fashion," The anticipation has come to an end, the son's death was the trigger for the tension and fear. ...read more.

Conclusion

The writer uses very good vocabulary to keep increasing the fear and tension. The father finally gets the monkey's paw and wishes for his son to go back to his grave, "he found the monkey's paw, and frantically breathed his third and last wish." As soon as the wish was made the knocking stopped, "The knocking ceases suddenly, although the echoes of it were still in the house." This gives the readers a sense of relief and the tension started to decline. When the door opened and there was no one there, the tension was at a minimum however the anticipation was at the maximum because there was still the fear of the unknown. The reader would feel relieved because the corpses has gone but still wonder what may happen to the monkey's paw in the future. I think the story is very-well told, there is a lot of fear and tension throughout the story and it was frightening. The writer used good use of anticipation to get the reader scared and he used good use of vocabulary a horror methods to create a perfect horror story. I think the tensest section was the third wish and the arrival of Herbert, because there is so much anticipation you get frightened waiting. ...read more.

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