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How Does Elizabeth Gaskell Create an Effective Ghost Story?

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Introduction

How Does Elizabeth Gaskell Create an Effective Ghost Story? Elizabeth Gaskell wrote this short story in 1852. It is based on revenge within a wealthy family. It is a ghost story where death plays a significant part. The choice of story teller really makes this 19th century story work. The nurse who tells this story in first person perspective tells us how her early life comes to a halt when picked out to look after Miss Rosamond the cousin of a lord. The tone of this story is very natural, honest, genuine and believable and adds certain freshness. At the start it is a very slow build up. She relates to the reader by expressing her fears truly, she's an outsider the same as the reader and we know this because she has no relation to this family. She also makes it very realistic and with no resistance. The impact of the setting is effective as the house is in the middle of no where, isolated and lonely. There are some safe areas in the house e.g. ...read more.

Middle

Automatically the reader is wondering why this family has done such a thing. The use made of the ghosts in the story makes you have all different kinds of perspectives towards them. The ghost of the old Lord Furnivall very sinfully pounds of the organ on nights with severe weather conditions. "He played more and more stormily and sadly on the great organ" This suggests that the playing of the organ grew stronger and louder as the weather got more unpleasant as they grew quickly into winter. When Hester confronted the staff about these incidents they all alleged that they hadn't heard it or held the wind responsible. The danger the phantom child brought was far worse than the old Lords. "I could not choose but to go" Rosamond explained to Hester which says that the Phantom child has a power of Rosamond to make her pursue her to her mother up at the fells, where she would meet her death, but not only do they have a power over Rosamond they also have a power over Miss Furnivall. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Dorothy's coloured changed once or twice" This tells us that Dorothy knew everything that had happened but either couldn't say or didn't want to bring back such bad memories. The images in this story are very obvious and the writer has described them unmistakably throughout the story which gives the reader a clear picture in their minds. One example from the book is "the vast heath-place which gave out no heat" This description makes the reader realise that this was not real but just a re-enactment of something which took place a long time ago. Ending on a moral gives the reader an opportunity to think about things they have done in the past and involves them so then they relate to the book, and that gives the book an exceptionally good end. The moral "What is done in youth can never been undone in age" concludes this 19th century story splendidly. Miss Furnivall mutters these words on her death bed which intensifies the whole story even though the climatic part is over and all together adds great effect. Ghost stories aren't my favourite genre but I still appreciate them greatly! By Rebecca Savage 10.1 15th November 2003 ...read more.

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