Source: “The Tape.” Storium, Scene 3, https://storium.com/game/group-4–2/act-1/scene-3
The passage and conflict of “The Tape” is immediately introduced by the narrator as two children, Becca and James, anxiously and dreadfully wait in a corner of their room, contemplating what the dark figure that lurks within their home is. The narrator portrays their frightened state well, describing their actions in response to the shudders and movements of the monster: “Becca and James hold each other and stare widely at the slowly opening closet door”. The text then transitions onto another character, the mother of the two children, to express the emotions of “The Monster” who ironically just happens to be the mother shifting through the house after a blackout. The children run to their mother’s arms in embrace, prompting the start of this horror story. The implementation of imagery and manipulation of varying points of view are rhetorical devices that group four employs effectively to express the emotions of the characters who have been fixed in this chilling situation. The plot progresses as the mother continues to express her thoughts and emotions in the first person, describing in detail her trance-like state, aimlessly wandering the house and dragging her feet against the floor using descriptive imagery such as “The metal closet handle is cold against my hand, and the irritating screech of the old door tears into my mind..”. Our impressions of Stacy (mother) seem to gradually change from an innocent, shadowy manifestation of the children’s fears, to confused mother, and now a manifestation of something more sinister than anything the children could ever imagine. Notions of the mother as being the true monster of the story seem to be more clear though as her estranged sequence of actions create this archetype of something more nefarious and malicious than a caring, loving mother. The story continues to develop as Becca, Stacy’s daughter, recounts the context of the situation by depicting her attitude and emotions towards Stacy by first-person, narration-style dialogue. Using the perspective of the child effectively makes the audience more aware of any implicit moods that the author attempts to make that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. Including Becca’s dialogue when she thinks to herself exemplifies this: “As we stood there in her arms, something felt a little off—she’s…different.”. This allows us to form further judgements and validate any inferences we might have made by just narration alone. The common theme of first-person narration style perspective of the character’s contributes to plot and objectivity of this genre (horror). We are able to sense any change in tones far more effectively by this rather than reading from a passage that makes a simple summarization of events. Our inclinations of Stacy as an emerging antagonist are further influenced by this rhetorical choice, driving the plot into an unpredictable direction in which the author has full control over and takes advantage of. The remnants of scene three are left in James point of view, retelling the opening scene through his eyes and continuing to illustrate the peculiar change in Stacy’s personality. As the characters are gravitated towards the television in the living room, we are able to grasp the seriousness and grim attitudes of the children towards their mother. Stacy forces them to sit down and watch “The Fatal Cleansing” in the middle of the night, the television crackling in an unintelligible manner. Through James thoughts and emotions, we can assume that both the children are dismayed and concerned with the condition of their mother. The depiction of Stacy staring intently at the television without interruption or hesitation contributes to the rhetorical effectiveness of the author onto the reader. We imagine a mother, once tender and affectionate, now fully possessed by an insidious element. The author chooses to then perpetuate this idea by ending the passage with Stacy peering out the window and into the moonlight. With bone-chilling detail, the image of Stacy’s malevolent grin and a “red flicker that glimmers in her eyes” comes to the reader’s mind, leaving them in anticipation of the subsequent sequence of events that are to take place.