Sandra’s character is a young teenage girl. In the story she is very confident therefore joins the ‘good neighbours club’, because she has the sort of character that will do what her generation are doing as most of her mates have joined the club, “They were all in the Good Neighbours’ Club, her set at school. Quite a few of the boys, too. It had become a sort of craze, the thing to do.” She lives with both of her parents who have traditional jobs. Sandra is attractive, pretty and very self-satisfied.
She has many hopes and dreams; “One day she would have a place in the country, but not like this. Sometime. A little white house peeping over a hill, with a stream at the bottom of a crisp green lawn and an orchard with old apple trees and a brown pony. And she would walk in the long grass in this orchard in a straw hat with these two children, a boy and a girl, children with fair shiny hair like hers, and there’d be this man.” A reader would have thought that she dreamed all this up!
Her hopes or dreams are very specific, and she seems to feel very strongly of them. ‘She knows what she wants.’ Sandra feels superior to other people. Sandra judge’s people by their appearance and first impressions, she responds to flattery and looks down on Kerry. She does not know anyone at a personal level. Later in this story her character is forced to face reality and not to ‘judge a book by its cover’. Her turning point is when she learns about Mr’s Rutter’s secrets.
Mrs. Rutter’s Character has the appearance of a stereotypical old woman; “She’s a dear old thing, all on her own, of course, we try and keep an eye. A wonky leg after her op’.” Her house also reflects her appearance; “there was a smell of cabbage. The alcove by the fireplace was filled with china ornaments: big-eyed floppy-eared rabbits and beribboned kittens and flowery milkmaids and a pair of naked chubby children wearing daisy chains.” Mrs Rutter’s appearance may be good, but she has a secret, which she tells to both Sandra and Kerry: she let a person die without giving then any assistance! Her appearance is also not that good because she gives away many hints like; “a creamy smiling pool of a face in which her eyes darted.”
This is in contrast to her personality described earlier. When she is telling her story about the German pilot who was killed, she pauses a lot to create tension, probably because she enjoys telling the story. Mrs Rutter shows no remorse, sorrow or guilt whilst telling the story. She found pleasure in watching Kerry and Sandra in suspense. Her excuse for letting the pilot die was that it was raining, and that her husband was also killed in the war; so why should she care? Mrs Rutter has the appearance of a kind friendly old woman but deep in side there is the truth that she helped in the death of a innocent person, who did nothing to Mrs Rutter to make her feel that way against him.
Both stories involve a young generation and elder people also. They both have secrets, which are revealed later on in the story. Great Expectations is told by a first person; and The Darkness Out There is told by a third person. Great Expectations is very formal and has long sentences involving old-fashioned word like; “wittles”. The Darkness out there uses slang words; “wonky-leg”, it is also aimed at a young audience as it has teenage characters. The convict is outwardly aggressive but inside he is a very nice person. In the novel – Great Expectation so he is more popular wit the little kids. The danger in the in the novel is there physically for real. Darkness Out There and Great Expectations both of the settings are in contrast with the titles.