Darkness and Out There Create an Anticipation of Fear in the Reader Essay - 708 Words

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Darkness and Out There: Create an Anticipation of Fear in the Reader

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Text Preview The words 'darkness' and 'out there' in the title of the story create an anticipation of fear in the reader right from the start. Yet the story begins with a pretty young girl in a sunny field of wild flowers, an old woman living alone in a cottage, and a charitable woman, Pat, who organises a Good Neighbours' Club to help people like Mrs Rutter. The title, therefore, introduces the idea of something sinister beneath this innocent surface and arouses the interest of the reader from the beginning.

The first suggestion of darkness comes with mention of a wartime air crash in which the German crew was killed. There are rumours of ghosts. A bit scary, perhaps, but really nothing more than superstition. Sandra keeps to the track around the field nevertheless. This darkness of fear and superstition is 'out there' in the woods.

By contrast, she says that it was ok if you were in the sunshine. Sandra is a pretty girl and ‘here’ for her is out in the sunshine where she reflects about a time when someone told her she had pretty feet. This suggests that she is very comfortable with her own world and her own body - she knows that she is attractive and is optimistic about the future – she talks about travelling, getting a good job and falling in love. Back home she imagines wathing tv with the curtains closed, shutting the dark out. Deep down she feels safe but there is a darkness 'out there' that needs to be shut out.

The darkness out there takes a couple of other forms in her thinking. She remembers childhood fears of wolves and witches and tigers that local children thought lived in the woods. Later there were fears of predatory, violent men that she had heard about from the papers. But Lively suggests that these were more myth than reality. When Kerry Stevens suddenly appears and frightens her, he seems to be another candidate for the darkness out there. He is unattractive, one of those people up to no good. The reader is not encouraged to trust him much. Is he a... Show More

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