Guilt In The Monkey's Paw, And The Other

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How Guilt Creates Horror Of all the emotions humans feel on a daily basis, guilt is one of the most powerful. Guilt is where one "[feels] responsible for an action [that they] regret committing" (Barker). This is demonstrated in media such as Poe's “The Tell Tale Heart,” Jacobs' “The Monkeys Paw," and Amenabar's “The Others." Guilt plays a crucial role in creating horror by controlling the protagonists' actions, slowly becoming mad and causing them to become unstable. Each of the protagonists suffers from guilt, which controls their actions and adds a sense of horror. In Jacobs’ "The Monkey's Paw," Mr. and Mrs. White cause the death of their son, Herbert, when they make their first wish with the Monkey's Paw. A week after his death, Mrs. White grows hysterical and orders Mr. White to "wish [their] boy alive again" (Jacobs 6). She…show more content…
The narrator in "The Tell Tale Heart" denies being mad, reasoning "you fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you...should have seen how wisely I proceeded" (Poe 1). When the narrator goes from calm at the beginning, to violent and angry during the interrogation, it shows how unstable and how affected they are by their guilt. Grace is quite unstable as she is always switching moods and acting on impulse. For example, when Grace attacks Anne thinking it was not actually her, but an old woman; one moment she is attacking her, the next she is trying to comfort her. (Amenabar). The guilt that Mrs. White carries causes her to want to bring Herbert back to life, no matter what. This creates a sense of horror because Mrs. White is attempting to bring back the dead, something going against the fundamental laws of nature. The guilt that haunts the protagonists cause them to become unstable, creating a sense of horror because the reader does not know what their next action will be or how far they are willing to go to alleviate that
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