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“The Black Veil” and “The Darkness Out There” are similar in many ways them being that they both have two main characters which both change and realise new things about themselves by the end of the stories, they are both short stories which both have unexpected out comes at the end. They include suspense at peaks of tension when either new characters are introduced or things are learned. They also both have fluctuating tension as in both stories it goes up and down to keep us reading.
However the ‘Darkness Out There’ has more fluctuating tension than ‘The Black Veil’. They also both have a death in both texts although this is where the stories are different, ‘The Darkness Out There’ has a death in the past in World War Two, and “The Black Veil” has a death in the story on the day the story is set. More similarities are that they both have a sinister character Mrs Rutter in “The Darkness Out There” and the women in “The Black Veil”. There is also a sense of isolation as “Packers end” and “Walworth” are both scarcely visited and feared.
However they are quite a few differences which separate them as in ‘The Darkness Out There’ the story is basically using Mrs Rutter’s secret to drive the plot and when she reveals her secret the tension rises. “The Black Veil” is more of a horror story than “The Darkness Out There’s” as its plot is a lot more mysterious and there is a darker side to it. “The Black Veil” is more mysterious as it has scarier characters like the mysterious women. Other things like “the hanging” and “Walworth” all add to the horror with their bad reputations.
“The Black Veil” also has a concealed truth from the audience up until the last few paragraphs when we find out who this mystery character is. Whereas in “The Darkness Out There” we have no idea that there is a concealed truth in the story until Mrs Rutter tells the children unexpectedly. With it being set in the day this doesn’t add much to the scary atmosphere expected of a horror story so its characters don’t feel frightened in anyway just shocked and disgusted. The styles of these texts also have similarities and differences.
“The Black Veil” has longer paragraphs than “The Darkness Out There’s” with a lot more description but not much action happening as detail prolongs the story, again suggesting a great length of time in writing the text. Its sentences are very long and are broken up with commas to show a developing of action. “The Darkness Out There” has short paragraphs and more action as it can flow without a lot of detail preventing it. “The Darkness Out There” also has shorter sentences with a couple of lines in each. The use of figurative language in both texts helps to create a picture of the characters and settings.
“The Black Veil” uses more figurative language, as there is more description, so Dickens uses metaphors and similes to help him describe the characters and the scenes. He uses a simile to describe his helper to be like an ‘animal’. He also uses things such as alliteration to describe the women. In “The Darkness Out There” Lively uses both similes and metaphors. She uses a simile ‘her eyes investigated quick as mice’ to describe Mrs Rutter and what she does when Sandra and Kerry arrive at her house. Lively makes Mrs Rutter sound suspicious and curious as she ‘investigates’ the room.
This could show how Mrs Rutter is hiding something. There is less need for figurative language in “The Darkness Out There” because altogether there is less description. The effect this chosen type style has on me as a reader is a positive one as it helps me to understand both texts a lot easier. For instance, without the use of figurative language in “The Black Veil” I wouldn’t have been able to understand most of what was going on so as a result of the similies and metaphors created I was able to take what something was compared to an understand by that.
When Sandra is walking through “Packers End” everything is bright, sunny and not scary at all until she starts to think of the “German Plane” that crashed there, her perspective on “Packers End” stays the same and doesn’t change even though it is day time and the German plane crashed long ago and the bodies would have been removed. In contrast, when the Doctor walks through Walworth the buildings and parts of Walworth described to us are that of a “ruinous and dismantled” nature and don’t “dispel any feeling of anxiety or depression”.
Both Sandra and the Doctor are anxious to go through Packers End and Walworth with both places having reputations of a bad and horrific nature. Both texts have suspense in them but “The Black Veil” has more suspense than “The Darkness out There” as it has more detail and not much is given away in what is actually happening. In “The Black Veil” the suspense starts near the beginning when the surgeon is suddenly woken up from a dream by his ‘corpulent’ employee. The suspense then rises when ‘an unusual apparition’ of a woman appears at his window and we begin to wonder who the woman is and what she wants on a late winters evening.
The suspense keeps on rising as ‘the mysterious figure slowly moves’ to enter the surgery and explains desperately about a stranger who is in a ‘desperate condition’, at this point we are left wondering who this stranger is and what has happened to them for the woman to be so distressed. The suspense keeps on rising as the story continues, there is a steady build up, but the tension doesn’t fall as all the way throughout the story we are kept in suspense wondering who the stranger is and what the surgeon is going to do to help them.
Later on, the suspense rises rapidly as the surgeon wanders through Walworth, a place ‘no better than dreary waste’ we begin to become concerned as he wanders alone through a place where people are scared and hesitant to go. The suspense then rises again as the surgeon finds the person dead and it comes to an end as the woman proclaims that the stranger is ‘her son’. An authorial intervention made by Dickens at the end doesn’t really build up the story to a terrific climax, although it sums up what we have just read and makes things make sense it doesn’t really strike me as a great ending for a horror story.
Both Lively and Dickens say different things about society as they were written at different times to each other. Dickens tells us that money was a key factor in succeeding as it brought education to them who were wealthy and a life of crime to those less fortunate. Lively tells us that in a modern era we judge people by the way they look then are terribly surprised when we realise that we were totally wrong, this changes the way we look at people from then on and perhaps the way we see ourselves.
Both writers have morals to their stories as they want to make us respond in reading both their texts with our actions as for us to think when we believe someone is a good or scary person without actually meeting them. My personal response to “The Black Veil” was that of a horrified nature, I couldn’t believe the person in need of help was the woman’s son and how desperate he must have been. It made me think about how poor people must live and the extreme things they do in order to keep themselves alive.
My response to “The Darkness Out There” was different in that I was shocked by what Mrs Rutter had told Kerry and Sandra and I also questioned the way I looked upon people I don’t really know. I enjoyed the suspense in “The Black Veil” and not knowing what was going to happen but was disappointed by the fact that to finish an authorial intervention was used as it brought the story to a boring end. In “The Darkness Out There” I enjoyed how Lively made out that everything was pretty and innocent when really it only seemed that way.
The thing that didn’t make me enjoy this story in as much parts as “The Black Veil” did was that it didn’t have enough mystery and suspense. Overall both stories have morals about society and successfully have them put across in “horror” stories used to shock and disturb making you think about your actions. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad section.