Analysis Pages

Plot in The Old Nurse's Story

Plot Examples in The Old Nurse's Story:

The Old Nurse's Story

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"with the dark wound on its right shoulder..."   (The Old Nurse's Story)

This observation is sinister, suggesting that violence had been committed against the ghostly child. However, the details of the injury remain unknown, increasing suspense as readers wonder how Rosamond and Hester will escape the danger surrounding them.

"but Miss Furnivall kept shrieking out, 'Oh, have mercy! Wilt Thou never forgive! It is many a long year ago——'..."   (The Old Nurse's Story)

Miss Furnivall’s dramatic reaction—the first display of sincere emotion we have seen from her or Mrs. Stark—is startling. Because Miss Furnivall seems genuinely afraid of the child, readers begin to suspect that she might know more than she’s saying about the cause of the supernatural happenings. This increases the suspense of the scene and greatly heightens the pervading sense of danger, and gives credibility to Rosamond’s version of events. Readers will likely begin to suspect that the supernatural events have something to do with the household’s history based on her outburst.

"if you had had a little girl to go hand-in-hand with you up the hill, don't you think the footprints would have gone along with yours?'..."   (The Old Nurse's Story)

Though the organ’s music defies rational explanation, Hester doesn’t believe Rosamond’s account of being led outside by another girl since there’s only one set of footprints outside. This shows that Hester isn’t completely convinced that there’s anything supernatural going on. Also, this deepens the mystery of the manor, creating a tone of suspense and intrigue as readers wonder what is causing the mysterious events in the house.

"I was sometimes almost certain that I heard a noise as if someone was playing on the great organ in the hall...."   (The Old Nurse's Story)

The mystery of the manor is deepening: just as there are blocked-off portions of the estate, there is also the sound of organ music late at night. Though there may be a rational explanation for this phenomena—perhaps Hester is mistaking the sounds of the wind and wilderness for music—its presence still contributes to the manor’s otherworldly, spooky atmosphere.

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