W.W Jacobs uses many different techniques in The Monkey's Paw to build up an atmosphere of suspense and uneasiness. One way this is done is by Jacob's description of the White family's location, a bleak, desolate and isolated place. The fact that it is so far away from any built up area indicates to the reader that if something were to happen to them, then they would be very vulnerable,
"of all the beastly, slushy, out-of-the-way places to live in, this is the worst".
The words Mr White uses to describe the area creates an element of mystery. Jacobs builds up suspense even further by describing the wintry weather. Typical of many stories in the horror genre, "the night was cold and wet", and at night in the middle of nowhere, the slightest sounds or movements seems a lot scarier. Jacobs creates a conventional horror story setting where the reader expects something to go awry.
However the mood and setting of the outside is a sharp contrast to the warm, inviting interior of the Laburnum Villa. Here Jacobs creates a friendly family scene where the "fire burned brightly" and the father and son play a game of chess. Here the warmth and safety of the inside juxtaposes the cold and danger of the outside. The reader begins to wonder for how much longer this perfect balance can be maintained in the story, building up an element of fear and suspense.
The reader's question is soon answered when the Sergeant along with the monkey's...