A Sense Of Foreboding In 'the Monkey's Paw'

985 words - 4 pages

How Does W.W. Jacobs Create a Sense of Foreboding in ‘The Monkey’s Paw’?

From the outset, it is clear that ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ by W.W. Jacobs is driven by an increasing sense of foreboding. Firstly, the setting of the story takes place in a very isolated and lonely place, far away from civilisation in a deserted area. This makes it a bit scary and starts to introduce tension for the reader in the story. Right from the start of the story W.W., Jacobs creates a very foreboding scene. He starts the story with pathetic fallacy, ‘the night was cold and wet’. Immediately this makes the reader feel more tension. This line also creates a feeling of inhospitality, and makes you feel that that the place is not inviting. This creates a scene outside that is evidently ominous, and sets the mood for the whole story. The next line is correlated with the first, and backs up the idea of the atrocious weather. It says ‘In the small parlour of Laburnum Villa the blinds were drawn’. This is trying to say that the family is protecting themselves from the weather, in a sense they are cocooning themselves from the weather. Also Jacobs Sets the scene by saying ‘Father and son were at chess’. This seems a bit too good to be true, for example the inside is all calm, with the father playing chess with his son and the Mother knitting; ‘the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire’. This shows that the family is venerable. This also creates a big contrast because it’s warm and pleasant inside and very hostile and antagonistic outside. At the end of the first paragraph of the story somewhat sets the expectations of the story by saying ‘unnecessary perils’, which you can predict, that there is going to be danger in the story. At the start of the second paragraph Mr White says ‘Hark at the wind’, this phrase is generating the feeling that the cold is trying to get inside. About three thirds way down the page it says ‘I should hardly think he’d come tonight’. This is a great line for producing a highly ominous feeling, because, you don’t know who this person is, and this really makes you think, so Jacobs uses this line to make the reader think, this line does create a massive feeling of trepidation. At the bottom of page eighty he personifies the fact that they are venerable by saying ‘of all the beastly, slushy out-of-the-way places to live in, this is the worst. Paths a bog, and the road’s a torrent’. Which constructs a sense of venerability, because this place in which they live in has dire terrain, it must be a mission to get to the place; the way Jacobs is describing the district. So this place must be a obstacle in one sagacity.

At the start of...

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