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What makes a horror story? Compare the ways in which Stevenson and Greene use the horror genre in their stories. Consider why the horror genre is so popular.

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Introduction

Emma Keller G.C.S.E English Wider Reading Coursework. Horror stories R.L Stevenson's 'The Body-Snatcher' and Graham Greene's 'The End Of The party' are both short stories that are a part of the horror genre, despite differing in many ways. Throughout this essay, I am going to compare the differences and the similarities between the two horror stories. I will assess the way the writers use certain aspects that are part of the horror genre to make their story have an impact on the reader and have the ability to captivate their reader and keep them engrossed in the story. I will be focusing on specific areas within each story including, setting, structure, atmosphere, suspense, endings and also the different types of fear explored within each story. There are many qualities that are common amongst all horror stories, which make the horror genre so popular. These specific components of horror stories include things such as murders, with a clear motive, and 'The Body-Snatcher' is no exception to this with many murders for a clear purpose, which is to supply the medical school with bodies. Tension and suspense are perhaps the most common generic elements in a horror story. Both 'The Body-Snatcher' and 'The End Of The Party' contain these elements in a very effective way which, build up to a climax at the end of the story and have a significant impact on the reader. Fear and phobias are commonly used in horror stories and 'The End Of The Party' contains a main theme of a young boy's fear of the dark. Darkness is also often used in horror stories and 'The Body-snatcher' and 'The End Of The Party' both contain elements of darkness, which create uneasiness and build up the reader's apprehension and fear. Also elements of weather create the mood and atmosphere and can create suspense. The use of isolated areas can be associated with sinister goings on and can add again to the reader's uneasiness and fear. ...read more.

Middle

Repetition is not really used in 'The Body-Snatcher' because nothing needs to be emphasised to give a clue to the ending, perhaps so it can be more unexpected. Stevenson and Greene use very different characters in different ways. In both stories, the main characters are all males, but in 'The Body-Snatcher', the characters are adults, and are quite old, whereas in 'The End Of The Party', the main characters are two young boys. Fettes and Macfarlane are the two main characters in 'The Body-Snatcher' and the narrator tells us about their eventful past, although we never learn anything about the narrator, as this may steer attention off the main characters. The narrator must know of Fettes' and Macfarlane's past as he says, "and perhaps there is now no other man alive who could narrate to you the following foul and unnatural events." This is speaking directly to the reader and builds up tension and uneasiness with the reader not knowing what they are about to witness. In 'The End Of The party' the characters are made known to the reader immediately, "Peter Morton woke with a start". This instantly introduces one of the main characters and we are then introduced to the other main character, "Francis Morton was still asleep....Peter lay down again with his eyes on his brother....it was himself who he watched, the same hair, the same eyes, same lips and line of cheek". This makes the reader aware of the twin brothers in the story and so you can begin to learn about them. This is similar to 'The Body-Snatcher' where the characters are immediately identified, "the undertaker, and the landlord, and Fettes, and myself." We do not meet Macfarlane instantly, but he is presented to be someone who we don't really want to meet, we get this impression because is asked, "Do you know him Doctor? God forbid, was the reply" This makes the reader apprehensive about Macfarlane and quite inquisitive into what is so bad about him. ...read more.

Conclusion

fictional. Horror is popular with all age-groups and genders, as it provides a sudden adrenaline rush to the reader. Horror is also popular because people like to be scared and scared by the unknown. They like the thought of scary situations, which can give people nightmares. Film now has a great influence, with many horror films being made, this means people are getting harder to scare, as the idea of horror is more accepted. Despite this, horror is a genre enjoyed by many and there are increasing numbers of horror stories and films being made, and it remains a very popular genre. Overall, I think both of these horror stories are very effective and are good horror stories. My favourite out of the two is 'The End Of The Party', I prefer this story to 'The Body-Snatcher' because I think it successfully manages to twist an everyday situation into being scary with a very unexpected and sad ending. I think it is exciting how it builds up to the end, and then all the events happen at once and make me feel quite shocked and afraid at this point. My idea of a horror story is more like 'The Body-Snatcher', with more typical horror elements, like graveyards, weather, dead bodies as are involved in 'The Body-Snatcher.' I think this is why I prefer 'The End Of The Party', because it is still a horror story, but without many of the typical horror components. Overall, horror is very popular. A successful horror story has the ability to scare the reader and keep them in anticipation through parts of the story. It also should be able to keep the reader captivated and reading to the end. A good horror story combines tension. Suspense, atmosphere, the unexpected and fear effectively to have an impact on the reader. A good horror story also contains a good structure, an effective setting, the use of fear and vocabulary, these are what make successful horror stories and make the horror genre so popular. Emma Keller 11T ...read more.

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