• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

19th Century Short Stories Coursework

Extracts from this document...


19th Centaury Short Stories Coursework In the short stories the Signal man and Red room, fear and suspense are built in a variety of ways. Some ways the authors achieve fear and suspense are through the environment, character description and linguistic devices. In Red Room, one of the methods used to create fear and suspense is the description of the elderly inhabitants of the house. Wells manages to make the reader fearful and suspicious of the elderly man, by describing him as having a 'withered arm'. Those with disabilities, at the time the story was written, were seen as inferior, and were feared. By giving the elderly man a disability the author creates an air of suspense and mystery around the character. By making the inhabitants of the supposedly haunted house old, the author could be trying to create a ghostly atmosphere. Wells describes them in a ghostly manner 'The old woman sat staring hard into the fire, her pale eyes wide open' and 'His lower lip, half averted, hung pale and pink for his decaying yellow teeth'. The word decaying has connotations of death, which relates to the main idea of a ghost. The protagonist also describes them as being 'spectral'; this could be suggesting the elderly people are the ghosts. Old women are commonly associated with witches, which relates to the supernatural. ...read more.


The signalman also uses many different methods to create fear and suspense, some of which are the same as in the red room and some which differ. When the signalman hears the call 'Hallo, down there' from the protagonist, he 'looked down the line' as opposed to where the voice is coming from, above him. This makes the reader suspicious of the signalman because of his strange behaviour. As this the first event in the story, it encourages the reader to assume it holds some significance to the conclusion of the story. In the 19th century these mystery stories were enormously popular and wee often published episodically in the newspapers. To encourage the readers to buy the next issue, there are many cliffhangers throughout out the story to try and inspire people to read on. The strange reaction to the call 'Hallo, down there', could have been the end of the first episode, and as the signalman's reaction was suspicions, it would inspire readers to but the next issue. The signalman also does other things, which are seemingly unexplainable to the protagonist such as hearing a bell ring twice, without the protagonist being able to hear. This inexplicable behaviour builds suspense and fear for the reader because if people do not understand something, they are fearful of it. ...read more.


The author also uses the fear of the expectation of death to build suspense. As we are told by initially, the protagonist is sentenced to death. This is mentioned so early in the story because it prompts the reader to be expecting his death, and as the story draws nearer and nearer to an end, the tension is built in the reader, as they are expecting the inevitable death. Fear and suspense is also built when the most horrific of choice to either plunge to his death by jumping into the pit, or to be gruesomely sliced in two by the swinging pendulum. The author's description of the ominous 'destroying crescent' at the climax of the story encourages fear and suspense in the reader as the protagonist is left helpless awaiting the ever swinging pendulum. Fear and suspense are built up throughout both stories and the authors rely on people's fearful and irrational nature in order to keep them interested. For example, the slightest mention or suggestion of the supernatural convinces the reader that there is a supernatural presence. This device is used in both stories. Darkness is also a recurring theme that relies on people's fear of the unknown. This is still true today, as mankind is always wary of things that are unknown, or in 'darkness'. Simran Lotay ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Journeys End coursework

    4 star(s)

    to burden himself with extra work that could easily be delegated to the other officers. All this extra work that Stanhope sets himself puts him through immense stress as well, and occasionally he overreacts, and looses his temper in front of his fellow officers.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    'The Darkness out there'.

    3 star(s)

    But as the story unravels, in her eyes Kerry matures into a man e.g. "He had grown. He had got older and larger." I think Lively uses this to reiterate that things are not always how they seem to be or how you may see things.

  1. Compare and Contrast the Authors' Presentation of the Relationship between Men and Women in ...

    This is portrayed in the language by a long complex sentence that takes a while to get to the point of her husbands death, just leaving little hints, half concealing. The long complex sentence gives the reader the feeling of length that the news was broken to Mrs.

  2. Horror story coursework

    great terror, and 'there was a general feeling that there was "something"' in the house. Malcolmson ignores all these allegations, claiming that an intelligent man like him "A man who is reading for the mathematical tripos has too much to think of to be disturbed by any of these mysterious

  1. Analyse three short stories by Kate Chopin

    Another aspect of the life of married woman in the 1900's was that it was considered unacceptable for a woman to express unhappiness in marriage. Society would have been critical of women expressing their own views on subjects such as politics or religion or certainly for disagreeing with their husbands.

  2. Compare and contrast two short stories, focusing on the techniques used to create a ...

    You would think he was stupid going into this casino because of the risk. He gets carried away with gambling, which is why he went to the poverty stricken casino for a different challenge. He is way too over confident that nothing bad will happen to him although nothing does

  1. Shakespeare Coursework - Henry

    It shows his humility to God and puts himself below God as part of humanity, showing there is no defiance of God. Furthermore Henry places the responsibility for victory at Agincourt in God's hands which shows his humility as he could have the claimed the victory as his own but

  2. An Inspecter Calls Coursework

    Also, He says "we can't let all these Bernard Shaws & H.G Wellses do all the talking. We hardheaded practical business men must say something sometime". Bernard Shaw & H.G Wells were socialist play writers/novelists from the Fabien society. This shows Birling's disagreement with socialism, as he believes capitalists like himself should have a say as well.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work