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WW JACOBS How does the author use tension, atmosphere and conflict in their story in order to create effect?

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Introduction

How does the author use tension, atmosphere and conflict in their story in order to create effect? The author begins the story by setting the scene and describing the area in which the White's live. He describes the night as cold and wet, while inside the house the blinds are drawn and the fire is burning brightly. This is a good contrast, as the house seems to have a warm and safe atmosphere inside, even though the cottage is situated in a remote area of the country, with extremely unpleasant and harsh weather. Before the Sergeant-Major arrives, the atmosphere of the house seems quite tense and dull. The author shows how tense Mr. White is when he writes "Bawled Mr White, with sudden and unlooked-for violence". You can easily see that Mr. White doesn't seem to be concentrating on his game of chess. The language the author uses to describe the characters' actions is used to create tension throughout the story. When the Sergeant-Major arrives at the house, the mood and atmosphere seem to change and brighten up. Mr. White "rose with hospitable haste", which is a good contrast from the way he was acting before the Sergeant-Major arrived! The way that the author descrbies the Sergeant-Major makes him seem like a man of authority and superior the The White's. As soon as the Sergeant-Major arrives, the mood brightens up, and the author talks fo tumblers of whisky, and a copper kettle. ...read more.

Middle

White by the arm and urges him to wish for something sensible. This creates tension, and the atmosphere becomes cold and eerie again. After Mr. White has made a wish using the Monkey's paw, the author talks about the weather outside again, and describes the wind as being higher than ever. The author purposely sets the suspenseful scenes during the night time, to create a scary atmosphere. I think the main reason that W.W. Jacobs set this scene at night was to target the reader's fears. He talks about "a silence unusual and depressing", which shows that the atmosphere has definitely changed dramatically from when the Family were talking and joking with the Sergeant-Major earlier on in the story. After Mr. and Mrs. White have retired for the night, Herbert is left alone in the living room in the darkness. The author describes the fire as "dying", and Herbert sees faces in it. This creates tension in the story, as you can tell that Herbert is scared even though he laughed off the story of the Monkey's paw earlier on in the evening. The next morning, the family seem a lot more calm and rational about the monkey's paw than they were the night before. They laugh about it, and the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed and light-hearted. However, when Mr. White says that the paw moved in his hand, the atmosphere changes slightly, and becomes strained. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a clear contrast between the feelings of Mr. and Mrs. White, and the atmosphere in the story after Mr. White has wished is very expectant, yet fearful at the same time. When nothing seems to happen, the atmosphere becomes placid once again, and the tension between the two characters lessens. There is still a slight glimmer of anticipation though in Mrs. White, and fear in her husband. When the knocking starts, Mrs. White comes to life again and becomes frantic. Her husband on the other hand becomes anxious, and tries to stop Mrs. White from letting their son in, once again creating conflict between the characters. At this point in the story, the pace seems to quicken as Mrs. White tries desperately to open the door and let her son in, and Mr. White frantically searches for the Monkey's Paw so he can make his last wish. The author uses words and phrases such as "strained" and "groping wildly" to show Mr. and Mrs. White's desperation. All of a sudden, the knocking stops, and it's as if everything has become still and quiet again. The author describes a cold wind rushing up the staircase, which is a good contrast with Mrs. White's long wail of disappointment. The author then talks about the street lamp flickering on "a quiet and deserted road". This creates a sad feeling of aloneness, and makes the reader feel sorry for Mrs. White. Overall, i think W.W. Jacobs effectively used tension, atmosphere and conflict throughout the story to create effect, and interest the reader enough to make them want to readon and find out what happens. Suzanne Bowden ...read more.

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