In comparing both ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘The Darkness Out There’ in terms of how they build up tension and horror within the story line, you will find there are many differences but many similarities. We have used the beginning of chapter 5 of ‘Frankenstein’ and the whole of the short story ‘The Darkness Out There’. The two pieces begin very differently; In ‘The Darkness Out There’ we are given a false idea of what is to come later in the story.
It opens with a young girl walking through fields on what seems to be a lovely summers day “she walked through the flowers, the girl the ox eyed daises and vetch and cow parsley” and the readers are deliberately mislead by the writer. In ‘Frankenstein’ when the weather is “dreary” we know something bad will soon happen, this is Pathetic fallacy it shows that even nature is in tune with what will soon happen. Whereas in ‘The Darkness Out There’, nature is very deceiving, such as in the opening of the story its sunny and in no way a setting for a horror story.
The weather only becomes a little related to the story line when the plane comes down; it is raining, and dark. Therefore both stories begin with a description of nature but very different descriptions. The irony that is present in both stories will later come to give real feeling to the story. This also links to the theme of description in the stories and the extracts. The descriptions of ‘Mrs Rutter’ and her house evoke the senses and make us start to worry about Sandra and Kerry’s wellbeing.
All this leads to the story of the plane coming down in Packers End which leaves us shocked and glad we read on and wanting to read on as we need to know what happens to Kerry and Sandra. In ‘Frankenstein’ descriptions play a massive part in giving the story shape. Such descriptive words like “Comfortless” and “convulsive” lead us to believe that something bad may happen, and when it does eventually come it will leave you horrified yet engrossed in the story.
There are many climaxes in ‘The Darkness Out There’ whereas in the extract of ‘Frankenstein’ there is only one main climax, ‘the awakening’. The story of ‘Frankenstein’ is mostly built around this climax. In ‘The Darkness Out There’ there are many climaxes and many anti- climaxes. Such as, when Sandra is walking up to Mrs Rutters house and she is thinking of past goings on of Packers End, suddenly Kerry Stephans jumps out. We think it could be the 2 gypsy types spoke of earlier in the story, who threatened a young girl, but no its just Kerry and we are let down hence the anti- climax.
The main climax in ‘The Darkness Out There’ is when Mrs Rutter comes clean about the German plane incident which shatters our stereotypical views of her. In both stories all stereotypical views are thrown out of the window. We believe Mrs Rutter to be a kind regular “old person”. Penelope Lively describes her as “a cottage loaf of a woman” and “creamy smiling pool of a face”, but, many references are made to her eyes and the descriptions of them are of contrast, such as “her eyes snapped and darted”.
Eyes are a sign of the person inside someone and the person inside Mrs Rutter isn’t a nice one, so we are deceived. Also in ‘Frankenstein’ we think the creation is evil because of the way it looks or is described, but, its actions are kind ones as in parts of the story the “monster” shows potential for good. We see this when the “monster” first tries to make contact with Frankenstein he was described to have “muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his face” and yet again we are deceived.