Not to mention that it had a forbidden area called the ‘east wing, which was never opened. ‘ People never dreamt of going there. Then we have the ‘Darkness Out There’, this story is based in a very similar way. It is based in a house, which is at the end of a forbidden wood called ‘Packer’s End’. This area was scary. ‘You didn’t go there by yourself’, not even for a ‘thousand pounds’. It was ‘nasty, creepy’. People were ‘scared stiff’ of ‘Packer’s End’. When children were younger they believed that ‘witches, wolves and tigers’ existed there.
That was until they found out about the ‘German plane that had came down after the war’, and an ‘aircrew was killed there, people had heard them talking, still chattering in German. ‘ At the end of ‘Packer’s End’, there is a cottage, ‘Mrs Rutter’s cottage’. Both stories are narrated to young children by old female characters. ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’, is narrated by a nanny, and is told to the children, which she looks after. She seems to know a lot about the family history. Therefore not only does she share her story with the children to inform them about their family, but also to entertain them.
‘The Darkness Out There’, is narrated by a old ‘cottage loaf women’, who ‘seemed composed of circles, a creamy smiling pool of a face, and eyes which snap and dart. ‘ Already we can judge ‘Mrs Rutter’s’ character, we are made to feel that this woman is not as nice as she seems. She seems snidy, and very crafty. We can sense ‘darkness’, this is very symbolic. It connects to the title and we soon realise why. As the plot begins to unravel, we begin to see the ‘darkness’ in ‘Mrs Rutter’, the narrator of the story. It is also narrated to young children.
Both stories have used children for they are innocent, and easily influenced. This creates sympathy, yet suspense. Scary noises are very important conventions, probably one of the most important, and they are also used in both stories. In ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’, a ‘great organ’ is ‘heard playing’, near the ‘east wing’. This was once played there by the late ‘Lord Furnivall’. In ‘The Darkness Out There’, ‘airmen, witches, and wolves’ were said to be heard in ‘Packer’s End’. The noises create a tense atmosphere and suspense. We begin to feel scared, worried and wonder what is about to occur.
It has a huge impact on the audience. The final similarity that I found interesting was that in both stories, the actions are influenced by death. In ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’, ‘Lord Funivall’, and ‘Miss Furnivall’ both die. They are the one’s that are luring their daughter ‘Miss Rosamond’ to her death. In ‘The Darkness Out There’, ‘Mrs Rutter’s’ husband is killed in the war. Therefore she refuses to help a German (enemies during the war) survive; instead she leaves him to die. Although both stories have many similarities, they also have many differences.
The most obvious difference is that both stories are written in different time zones. ‘The Darkness Out There’ is a contempary story. It was published post world war two, whereas ‘The Old Nurse’s story’ was written in the 19th century, therefore they do have different writing styles. Nevertheless we cannot judge the effectiveness of the stories by knowing when they were written. We need to know the context and its conventions. However we can judge by looking at the main differences how and why a story is effective, and which particular ingredients make it effective.
Firstly I looked at the aspect of fear in both stories. In ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’, ghosts are visual and non visual throughout the story. This is a an obvious ghost story, it is very effective, and would have been more effective at the time it was published, for ghosts were believed in and had huge impacts on life. They weren’t just ‘fantasies’ as people regard them today. In ‘The Darkness Out There’, although there are myths of ghosts and witches, the story isn’t based on a ghost. The only real fear is the evil ‘darkness’ we find in ‘Mrs Rutter’. I also noticed that both stories are set in different types of weather.
‘The Darkness Out There’ is based in summery weather; there is no sign of mysteriousness apart from what had previously happened in ‘Packer’s End’. Although we do have a little bad weather, ‘heavy rain’, evil is not symbolised through the weather. ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’, however has bad weather, it contains dark dull, stormy weather. A ‘terrible winter’. This is a typical symbol of evil and strange occurrences. Bad weather represents evil and makes everyone miserable. It builds a lot of tension and suspense. The final difference is the difference we learn about the storytellers.
Although they are both old and female, what we do not realise are the hidden connotations, for both storytellers have different intentions. Soon we understand that ‘Hester’, the narrator in ‘The Old Nurse’s Story is not telling the children the story with the intention to scare, but is informing them about their family. ‘Mrs Rutter’, narrator in ‘The Darkness Out There’, is totally different. She is very ill minded, she tells the children the story to scare them so that she can gain entertainment by watching them terrified. In other words, she scares children for pleasure. I think ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ is the most effective story.
Although it contains all the typical ingredients, it does scare. The setting, weather symbolism and usage of ghosts combined together make it a very effective ‘ghost’ story. It creates tension, suspension, and a startled atmosphere. It also leaves the audience intensified. I didn’t think ‘The Darkness Out There’ was a very effective ghost story. To be honest it doesn’t even seem like a ghost story. Ghost stories are supposed to contain mysterious events, ghosts, and supernatural occurrences. ‘The Darkness Out There’ doesn’t scare the audience it just leaves them with a moral.
That is never to stereotype people. It doesn’t scare. I think ghost stories are effective because of the typical ingredients that they contain. A ghost story isn’t a story without spooky occurrences. The idea of listening to a ghost story is to be scared. ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ creates this effect, and therefore I think it is the most effective. 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.