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As 'The Monkey's Paw' was published in September, 1902, by the author, WW Jacobs. Jacobs creates a sense of horror, suspense and tension very effectively in 'The Monkey's Paw' by using variety of literary techniques. It firmly abides by the Gothic Horror genre which can be defined as a theme which combines elements of both Horror and Romance. The story tells of a mystical object, monkey's paw which grants 3 wishes to 3 different people but holds the premise, 'be careful what you wish for'. When Mr White subconsciously wishes for £200, he is hit with the death of his son but is also awarded the £200, which he had wished for. Towards the end of the story, Mrs White attempts to utilise the talisman to bring back her son to life but Mr White's last wish counteracts this. A ghost story is a story determined to scare the reader it usually builds up gradually with tension and suspense, in 'The Monkey's Paw' Jacobs has used a lot of intense, exaggerated words to build tension and suspense in many elements of the story. Jacobs creates the story scary in ways that are very different to modern Horror films and books. It shows the reader that the story was written in the early twentieth century as it contains many details that would have been common in Victorian literature. The story tells of a mystical object, monkey's paw which grants 3 wishes to 3 different people but holds the premise, 'be careful what you wish for'. Usually in a ghost story there is a typical dark and gloomy setting and an inhuman object almost always there is a non human force or a supernatural being in the story to give it a scare factor. Supernatural means a power above the forces of nature which implies that it is not human. W.W. Jacobs has used the supernatural being the scare factor in the story which makes it very effective. In the time that the two stories were written, the belief in the supernatural was a lot different to those of today. They believed in such things as ghosts and witchcraft where as nowadays there are only some believers. This could be because they had less technology than today's world so we have more evidence to whether they are or aren't real. When Mr White subconsciously wishes for £200, he is hit with the death of his son but is also awarded the £200, which he had wished for. Towards the end of the story, Mrs White attempts to utilise the talisman to bring back her son to life but Mr White's last wish counteracts this. There are numerous features which are obvious from 'The Monkeys Paw' which strikes to show the reader that the story was written over a century ago, as a result of this the old fashioned language which Jacobs uses. The old fashioned language used throughout the whole story contains words such as 'visage' and 'rubicund', these are not words that are commonly being used today. The story contains many details that would have been common in Victorian literature this tells that the story was written in the early twentieth century. Moreover the fact that £200 was considered to be a lot of money this clearly reflects that the story was from a long time ago as £200 is not seen as a large amount of money in the modern world.
The arrival of Sergeant Major-Morris marks the end of normality in the White household. When Mr White, unexpectedly comments, "I should hardly think that he'd come tonight", he introduces the element of the unknown. By using the word 'he', rather than the name, Jacobs is causing the reader to think about who the talk is about and leaves the reader waiting for the arrival of "him". The mystery related to this character is a strong cliché associated with the Gothic Horror genre.
Upon arrival, the gates banged "to loudly and heavy footsteps came". There is anticipation as the unknown and suggestively large figure is approaching the characters. When he does finally enter, Mr White and his family members react very casually to the man, although the description of his appearance implies something different. Being, "tall, burly and rubicund of visage", contrasts greatly from the gentle people inside the house. 'Tall' and 'Burly' emphasise the great size of the man, which could also provoke the reader to prejudge the identity of the man. "Rubicund of visage" shows that the man's face had been red, as if he had been outside for a long while, during the cold and wet conditions, or had been drinking heavily, which would require an explanation. As the appearance and the relevance of the man is yet a mystery, the reader is constantly thinking about whom the man is and what his importance is.
In 'The Monkey's Paw' W.W.Jacobs uses variety of different ways to portray different feelings and emotions, by describing the characters, the setting and the actions of the story, which add to the accumulation of suspense. As 'The Monkey's Paw' was written over a century ago, Jacobs doesn't use explicit gory details to create horror like modern scary films and books. Instead, he uses subtle hints in most aspects of the story to build up an element of terror and one of these aspects is the way that Jacobs uses setting. The main way in which Jacobs uses setting to increase the tension in 'The Monkey's Paw', is the way that he creates contrast between the wild outside weather and the cosy atmosphere inside the Whites' home. Jacobs begins the story by setting the scene and creates an atmosphere of suspense by describing the area in which the White's live. The setting of the story "The Monkey's Paw" the setting is typical for a horror story, "The night was cold and wet but in the small parlour of a Laburnum villa.. Pathway's a bog, and the road's a torrent.. I suppose because only two houses on the road are let" The setting of the story is so stereotypical it therefore establishes that something could go wrong this helps build suspense. Jacobs has used words like 'Darkness' and 'Trembling' numerous times, all are descriptive words used to manifest fear, and fear builds expectation. The atmosphere and the setting builds expectation for the reader that something could go wrong, as a result of this it leaves the reader anxious wanting to know what exactly will go wrong .
At the beginning of the story, Jacobs describes the night as 'cold and wet', whereas Jacobs describes the Whites' home by writing 'the fire burned brightly'. This contrast makes the reader associate the outside with dark, cold and bad while associating the inside with light, warm and good. There is one thing that is keeping the White family safe from the badness of the outside, and that is the blinds. The blinds are drawn in part 1 of 'The Monkey's Paw' when the Whites are a cosy, normal family protected from grief and terror. However, in part 3 of the story when Mrs White is looking for Herbert to come back from the dead, Jacobs writes 'the old woman, with burning eyes, walked to the window and raised the blind'. I think that the blind is a symbol for a barrier that protects the Whites from the danger of the outside and when Mrs White raises the blind to look for her son she lets some of that danger into her home. Also, the visitors bring some of the danger and badness from the outside into the Whites' home when they visit. For example, when the Sergeant-Major visits, he brings the monkey's paw which changes the Whites' lives forever and when the worker at Maw and Meggins visits, he brings the news of Herbert's death. It is clear that throughout the story, Jacobs corresponds the outside atmosphere to the mood of the characters. For example, in part 3 of the story, the house is 'steeped in shadow and silence' which is much like the couple, as there is no longer any banter or chatter between them after Herbert's death. For this reason, the reader is lulled into a false sense of security when they read about the 'wintry sun' and 'prosaic wholesomeness' at the beginning of part 2. The reader thinks that this sunny weather and ordinary atmosphere will correspond to the characters' moods. However, a little later on, the Whites discover about Herbert's death; this leaves the reader feeling shocked as they would have been expecting the Whites to have a normal day, when instead the Whites receive horrific news of their son passing away. Finally, we know that the house is very isolated as Mr White says at the beginning of the story 'that's the worst of living so far out'. This adds to the suspense in part 3 of the story as we know that the Whites are alone and there is no one that can help them.
In 'The Monkey's Paw' the author W.W.Jacobs begins the story by setting the scene and the atmosphere by describing the area in which the White's live. Jacobs 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. Jacobs 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. As 'The Monkey's Paw' was written over a century ago, Jacobs doesn't use explicit gory details to create horror like modern scary films and books. Instead, he uses subtle hints in most aspects of the story to build up an element of terror and one of these aspects is the way that Jacobs uses setting. The setting of part I begins with a cliché common to most gothic horror stories. "The night was cold and wet but in the small parlour of a Laburnum villa..." The wet and cold atmosphere has an unpleasant affect on the reader as it makes them immediately feel uneasy about the situation. Cold and wet as a combination are both largely used clichés to set the scene of a story, similar to 'To Build a Fire', by Jack London, which did however have a more intense description of the setting which was successfully suspenseful and eerie. Pathetic fallacy at the very beginning conveys the idea that the story will contain dark or evil connotations. The use of the word, 'but' has been purposely selected to show there is more to the situation, implying that it is liable to a twist. The first paragraph has a great ambience of normality across it; this had been done to allow the reader to empathise the characters, as it has been set in a fairly common area. However, by setting it in a common place, such as a home - Jacobs is defying the orthodox Gothic Horror genre setting. Most stories or novels which follow the rules of this genre are set in deserted places or a more enchanted/fictional region.
Most of the tension is created through the mystical object itself, the paw. When Mr. White mentions the paw, the soldier reacts in an uneasy manner, "Nothing, said the Soldier hastily". He is hesitant to answer and dismissive as he attempts to downplay the situation. As the listeners(White family), show more interest towards the subject, "leaning forward eagerly", repeatedly asking questions, the soldiers nerves are exposed through his actions: "his blotchy face whitened" and "his glass tapped against his strong teeth". This shows that the soldier could be thinking about what to do or that he is nervous and shaking as a result of this. This creates tension as the soldier, a strong character, is being pressurized by the three gentle characters which is fairly abnormal or unexpected. This is repeatedly seen throughout the story, as Mrs White's mood is constantly changing, "Has anybody else wished, persisted the old lady". This is contributing evidence that Mrs White may possibly have a very controlling side to her, which is later revealed in the story. The word, "persisted" suggests that she is continuing to ask questions up to the point where she is finally answered. The change in mood from her is drastic and be considered very strange or unforeseen.
Jacobs also creates a sense of tension in 'The Monkey's Paw' by building up the suspense throughout the different parts of the story. The structure of 'The Monkey's Paw' is like many pieces of Victorian literature; it is separated into three short chapters. In part 1, we get to see how close the White family are, the monkey's paw is first introduced and the first wish is made. At this point in the story, we don't know the power of the paw so we aren't as frightened as we are later on in the story. However, the Sergeant-Major's reluctance to talk about the paw leaves us with questions. We wonder if wishes on the paw do come true, why the Sergeant-Major is wary of the paw and we also wonder what wishes the Whites will make. These questions make us want continue reading the story to discover what happens. Part 2 of the story begins on a seemingly ordinary day - 'there was an air of prosaic wholesomeness'. This pauses the reader into a false sense of security reason being as the reader thinks that they were foolish for giving fears of the monkey's paw as it seems to be such an ordinary day. The tension then starts to build when Mrs White spots the suspicious and 'mysterious' man from Maw and Meggins outside of the house. Then, when Herbert's death is revealed, the reader is even more shocked because of the huge contrast to the seemingly normal start of the day. The news of Herbert's death also leaves the reader with even more questions. We ask ourselves whether wishes on the monkey's paw do actually come true or if the compensation of £200 was just a freakish coincidence. This, again, makes us want to read further into the story to find out the answer to our questions. The description at the beginning of part 3 sets the scene for the rest of the story; it is night time and Mrs White is weeping. We associate these details with badness and we therefore are expecting for something scary to happen in the next part of the story. From the moment that Mr White makes the second wish, the tension is built up throughout the rest of part 3 by the increasing speed of the knocks and Mrs White's attempt to open the door. The suspense is only relieved right at the end of the story when Mr White makes the third wish. This way, the reader feels scared for the longest time possible which creates the greatest sense of fear.
Jacobs creates horror is through his use of characterisation. Firstly, we get to see the happiness of the White family right from the beginning of the story. There are many examples of their close-knit, normal family life throughout part 1 of 'The Monkey's Paw' such as Mr White and Herbert playing a family game of chess at the beginning of the story. The Whites are generally presented as pleasant and ordinary people. Therefore, when their first wish upon the monkey's paw comes true but at the price of their son's life, we are even more shocked at their misfortune as they seem to be just a normal family and not foolish people who have no common sense. The fact that Mr and Mrs White are elderly also adds to the sense of danger in the story as they are seen to be more vulnerable than younger people may be. In part 3 of the story, Jacobs uses contrast in the characters' moods for a dramatic effect. At the beginning of the story, the couple are chatty and make jokes with each other which makes a light family atmosphere. However, in part 3 of 'The Monkey's Paw', Mr and Mrs White have radically changed into uncommunicative couple who 'hardly exchange a word' as they have 'nothing to talk about' after their son's death. This huge contrast makes the reader realise the enormity of the effect that Herbert's death has had on Mr and Mrs White. This effect is also portrayed through Mrs White's newly irrational behaviour throughout part 3. She is constantly having mixed emotions - 'she laughed and cried together' - which show that she is not in control of her feelings and she has 'wild' ideas about bringing her son back from the dead. Finally, another way in which Jacobs creates drama through his use of characters is by showing that the Sergeant-Major is unwilling to talk about the paw. The Sergeant-Major is described as 'doughty' which makes us think that that he is very brave, so his reluctance to talk about the paw shows us that if even an extremely courageous soldier is too scared to talk about the paw, then it must be an incredibly strange and frightening object that shouldn't be messed with.
Another way that Jacobs creates a sense of horror in the story is by withholding the full information from the reader to create a sense of mystery. For example, the reader does not know if the £200 compensation for Herbert's death is related to the paw or whether it is just a coincidence. We never find this out, even at the end of the story, and so there creates an element of mystery about the whole story. We are also left wondering about other questions at the end of 'The Monkey's Paw', such as whether wishes on the monkey's paw actually do come true and whether Herbert did actually come back from the dead. These questions make us discuss and think about the story even after we have finished reading it, and this is a sign of a successful story. Also, Jacobs withholds information in another aspect of the story when he doesn't tell us what Herbert's mangled body looks like. Jacobs writes that Mr White says 'I could only recognise him by his clothing' when describing Herbert's body. This is very powerful as it makes us imagine Herbert's body being far more contorted and gory than Jacobs could possibly describe with words. Also, in part 3 of 'The Monkey's Paw', Jacobs doesn't give us any information about Herbert. Instead of writing something like 'Herbert the zombie approached the house', Jacobs is much cleverer in his use of language to build up the tension. He does not mention Herbert once; instead he increases the suspense by describing the 'fusillade' of knocks on the door. This way, Jacobs keeps the mystery of the monkey's paw intact as he does not state that the knocks are definitely coming from Herbert, for all we know, the knocking could just be a figment of the couple's imagination. Finally, senses are another thing that Jacobs removes from the characters to increase the tension in the story. Depriving the characters of some of their senses in parts of the story increases the tension as the characters are having something that is vital to them removed; this increases their level of fear. For example, in part 3 when Mr White goes downstairs, it is very dark so he is deprived of his sight. He has to use touch and sound as his main senses to be able to get around. Jacobs writes that Mr White 'felt his way to the parlour' before he 'lost the direction of the door'. By removing one of his senses, he loses the direction of where he is going which shows just how fundamental senses are and what effect being deprived of them can have. Jacobs goes on to prove that that Mr White is scared at losing his direction by saying 'his brow cold with sweat'. When Mr White is scared in this part of the story, we empathise with him which makes us feel frightened too.
After Mr White had wished for the money and merited a frivolous reaction from his son, the general atmosphere changed, "the wind was higher than ever" and the mood became more frightful as "the sound of the door banging loudly" deafened upon the ears of the White family. These clichés build up tension and fear within the characters and the reader (who empathise the characters.) The characters in the book act lightly to the paw and its powers and this may seem as a bit of a surprise to the readers. Pathetic fallacy has been used once again to create a feeling of fear and darkness to surround the characters.
The following day, after the encounter with the paw, Mr and Mrs White are told about the mishap with their son and are awarded £200 compensation, which is ironically what Mr White had wished for. Before even proclaiming the exact amount, Mr White jumps up in realisation and shock, "with a look of horror at his visitor". Mr White realised that his wish had been granted but as he "dropped, a senseless heap to the floor", he realises the true powers of the paw and his body language suggests he could be feeling as if the death were his own fault. A huge amount of tension is built initially when the reader finds out about the death of Herbert, it comes much as a surprise as there were no previous signs or signals suggesting that the paw would in fact grant the wish but see the death of Herbert in the process.
Sergeant-Major Morris' appearance seems very menacing at first. He is described as "tall, burly man, beady of eye". Tall and burly suggest that he is very large and muscular with small rounded eyes. As he is very large, the reader assumes he is a figure of significance and importance. Beady of eye could suggest his eyes look very small and rounded in comparison to the size of the Sergeant. These first impressions of him do suggest that he is there for a purpose, and in this case his arrival and presence in the story is tremendously vital to the story and the plot as he is the owner of the paw. He has been described in an unpleasant manner as if he was seen as an enemy or against the White family but this is disproven by his attitude and speech during his time in the house.
Sergeant Major Morris acts in a very casual manner towards the paw, "It's just a bit of what you might call magic, perhaps." The soldier uses the word just and perhaps in an attempt to draw his listener's attention away from the mystical object. 'Just' implies that the object is merely interesting with no supernatural connotations. The word 'perhaps' introduces the possibility that it could be true or not. The major himself knows whether or not there are any forms of magic related with the paw but he is not publicising the details. The reason, at this point in the story, is unknown but, nevertheless, this builds up curiosity in the minds of the reader.
Subsequent to Mr White's encounter with the paw, Mr White, Mrs White and Herbert are left speechless. "A silence, unusual and depressing, settled on all three". The word, 'settled' personifies the silence and implies that it is sinking in to the characters; it is surrounding the three characters and suggests that the silence could gradually be getting worse and worse, dwelling on the three. As the silence settled 'on' all three, it sounds as if it is effecting each person individually but collectively making it difficult for either of the three to break the silence.
The morning after the encounter with the paw, the general atmosphere is shown as very normal and boring. "There was an air of prosaic wholesomeness". 'Prosaic' suggest the general mood in the house was the reverse of the night before, lacking excitement but seeming very normal. This is justified by wholesomeness, which suggest that the lack of excitement is in a healthy way which is beneficial. The contrast between the previous scene and the morning scene is huge, which makes the reader suspicious. The reader would believe that giving the paw such unimportance may be seen as underestimating the powers of the paw and could bring upon a negative effect as a result.
In the first paragraph of Part III, there are several literacy devices used to create imagery. "The old people buried their dead", this is pathos as it provokes sympathy from the reader. This is done as Jacobs has purposely stated 'old people', rather than the names of Mr and Mrs Smith to emphasise the abnormality of old people burying young, which is an uncommon occurrence.
Metaphors and alliteration have been used to describe Mr and Mrs White's house after the departure of their son. It is described to have "steeped in shadows and silence", this emphasises its barrenness and desolateness as there is no life left in the house.
The candle, used to light the bedroom is personified as if it were a human being. It is said to "throw pulsating shadows" until "it expired". The imagery used is very strong as it relates the light to a human being. The word, 'pulsating' suggest the shadows get bigger and smaller in a recurring pattern which could be linked to a heartbeat, also expired has connotations associated with death and the end. 'Throwing' has been added to show that the shadows aren't flowing in an orderly fashion but are being shot menacingly at the wall. This shows that there is an distasteful atmosphere and it could be marking the end of the old woman's efforts.
After the expiration of the candle light, the room fell into complete darkness, which was unbearable. "The darkness was oppressive". Oppressive is the term used to show that the darkness was very heavy with senses, weighing Mr White down and embarking Mr and Mrs White within it. It can be metaphorically interpreted as the darkness suggests Mrs White should give up and her morale is being weighed down as a result of the darkness. The tension, here is released as the reader thinks that all the commotion has come to an end.
Similar to the language and the plot, the syntax and the sentence structure in 'The Monkey's Paw' is varied to generate different effects such as fast pace, contributing to a build up of tension.
Short sentences are used to create rapidity within the story, for example, a fast exchange of words. When the visitor from Maw and Meggins arrives, Mrs White begins demanding the messenger for answers. "Is he hurt?" "Badly hurt". This shows that the messenger feels awkward and is unable to complete long speech without detailing the situation. After realising what had happened to their son, both Mr and Mrs White are flabbergasted and physically incapable of speaking. The swift, momentary dialogues between the characters help the text to flow more coherently which physically speeds up the pace, making the scene particularly chaotic.
In contrast to the short sentences creating pace, the long, descriptive sentences have been used to build up initial thoughts. Towards the beginning of the story, a very long sentence, describing the Sergeant's "eyes getting brighter" as he begins talking is used. It is very descriptive and detailed as it builds upon the previous description. It has been used to give the reader a slight insight into who the man is and his purpose. It builds up tension as he is given a lot of importance which comes across through the family's body language. In this case, the long sentence is used in a calm manner and does not consist of several different phrases separated by commas, which build up tension.
In addition, the transition between each part of the story shows large changes in mood. After Herbert retires for the night, the second part begins, which has a very customary, "prosaic" mood to it. The contrast of mood between the start of part II and the end of part I is very large and keeps the reader alert. The huge amount of tension built when Herbert gazes into the fire is dropped instantaneously, keeping the interest of the reader. The following day, the mood is very calm and relaxed, the reader may feel as if the mood were too normal, and become suspicious, waiting for some action to occur. Following the Gothic Horror genre, there is a cliché that sunlight has a large impact on the mood of a story, as everything seems more controlled and calm during the day.
As the story unfolds, the reader is invited to empathise the character's feelings, in particular after Mrs White's rage is shown; the reader is invited to experience Mr White's fear. Mrs White's character changes from loveable to more determined and violent, "I want it" "Bring him back" - she is ordering Mr White to bring her son back to life. She has changed to a more dominant and controlling character which was seen earlier, when she "persisted" with the questions. This change in mood/character suggests Mrs White is very determined and will go to any extent to retrieve her son. As both the reader and Mr White realise the consequences associated with the paw and the evil/ dark magic it is capable of, the reader empathises with Mr White and goes in opposition of Mrs White, in the sense that Mr Whites fear is experienced and shared with the reader.Mr White ultimately is forced into wishing back for Herbert White and a short while after, knocking is heard at the door but when the knocking at the door escalates, Mrs White is unable to unlock it - the situation is prolonged to build up and maintain tension, allowing Mr White more time to find the paw. "Come down. I can't reach it." Also the fact that Herbert had risen from the dead, with an expected consequence, following the same pattern of the first wish, is what Mr White and the readers mutually fear.
In a struggle, during the period of time where Mrs White attempts to open the door, Mr White gets hold of the paw and "breathes his third and last wish", the knocking stops at once as if Mr White's final wish had been granted. The ending, where Mrs White opens the door to be confronted by nothing is very anti climax and is left to the readers' imagination, as it is open to interpretation. The ending conforms well to the Gothic Horror genre.
A reason why we empathise with the characters is the way that Jacobs uses of language. The Whites' dialogue is very realistic and believable - it makes the Whites seem like real people which makes the reader feel sympathetic towards them. Also, the Whites just seem like an ordinary family as they make jokes with each other and at the start of the story they are playing chess and knitting by the fire. They do not seem like greedy or foolish people so we empathise with them at their misfortune of having their wish come true but at the cost of their son's life. Another one of the main language tools that Jacobs uses in 'The Monkey's Paw' is irony. Jacobs creates irony throughout the story which makes the eventual horror even more shocking. For example, in part 2 of the story, Mr and Mrs White seem happily contented with their lives as they are making jokes and seem to be a close couple. Then when they receive the news of Herbert's death, the reader is taken aback at this news as the couple seemed to have a perfectly good, normal life before Herbert's death. Other examples of irony in the story are the way that Herbert says goodbye when he is going to work and the way that Mrs White makes comments about waiting for Herbert to come home. Herbert says 'before I come back' and Mrs White says 'when he comes home' which are both referring to Herbert's return. This is ironic as they do not know that Herbert will not be returning. Another language technique that Jacobs uses to create horror is sentence structure. For example, when Jacobs is describing the Whites at the start of the story, he uses long sentences like 'Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed the idea about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire' that go into a lot of detail to describe what is happening. However, when the story becomes more tense, Jacobs uses short sentences to show the change in pace of the story and to build up a sense of panic. For example, in part 3 when the couple hear the first knock, the suspense increases dramatically and Jacobs shows this by using a series of short, simple sentences such as 'A third knock sounded through the house'. The final way that Jacobs uses language to create horror in 'The Monkey's Paw' is simply through the choice of the words that he uses. The way that he describes things creates powerful, scary imagery. Jacobs can make even the most ordinary household objects seem terrifying. For example, when describing a candlestick he writes '[the candle-end] was throwing pulsating shadows on the ceiling and walls, until, with a flicker larger than the rest, it expired'. This description gives the most powerful sense of imagery as Jacobs makes the candle seem alive by saying that it has a pulse. The use of the word 'pulsating' also makes the reader think of the Whites as they are very tense at this point of the story and their pulse rate is probably very high due to their nervous anticipation of seeing whether their wish has come true.
I think that WW Jacobs is a very powerful and intelligent writer who has cleverly used every possible feature in the story of 'The Monkey's Paw' to create a sense of horror. The literary techniques that he uses are very typical to those of most short stories written in Victorian times. Personally, I think that these techniques, such as the mystery of the unknown, are a great deal scarier and build up a much better sense of tension than present day horror stories. Modern horror films and books mainly use gore, wounds and blood to create the element of disgust that generates the most profit. The story "The Monkey's Paw" by the author Jacobs is by far the best for creating a suspenseful atmosphere and mood. I intend to show how W.W Jacobs creates this suspenseful atmosphere and mood through the analysis of setting, narrative, dialogue and character in order to deepen my understanding. "The Monkey's Paw" tells the story of a small but close family, the Whites who are visited by Sergeant-Major-Morris a friend of Mr Whites who brings with him the monkey's paw. The most effective way of building up tension and suspense in 'The Monkey's Paw' is the actual content of the story. The characters, plot, clichés, genre and setting all contribute greatly to forming an unpleasant atmosphere as they all physically impact the conditions. The sentence structure and dialogue, spoken by the characters are all dependent on the personality and traits of each character. If the reaction of Mrs White had been different to the discovery of her son's death, there would be no short sentences to build up the pace and tension. I personally think the manner in which the characters behave is fundamental to the build up of tension and suspense in this book. I think the book has been cleverly written to build up a great deal of tension, when required and relieve it to always maintain the attention of the reader, not allowing them to lose interest. However, I think that Jacobs cleverly uses subtle details and suggestion in 'The Monkey's Paw' to develop a sense of throughout the story, and this is what creates a classic horror story that really plays with the reader's mind.