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

19th Century Victorian Horror Stories: English Literature Coursework: How 19th Century writers of horror stories effectively used language to fill readers with a sense of horror

Extracts from this document...


19th Century Victorian Horror Stories: English Literature Coursework How 19th Century writers of horror stories effectively used language to fill readers with a sense of horror In the 19th Century, writers of mystery tales affectively used language to fill readers with a sense of horror. Discuss with reference to the three of the short stories you have read. The three stories are: The Money's Paw by W.W. Jacobs, The Red Room by H.G. Wells and The Judges House by Bram Stoker. All of these three stories are similar in one-way or another and contain typical gothic conventions, supernatural elements, madness and macabre. They also contain certain elements that are important for creating and sustaining tension in stories. In the Victorian era books were one of the only forms of entertainment and readers loved to be scared. So the writers focused on using language to frighten their readers. The first story I am going to discuss is the Monkey's Paw by W.W.Jacobs. In the extract from the Monkey's paw the writer W.W.Jacobs creates tension by focusing on the characters emotions as the character of Mrs White wakes up. The author really accentuates Mrs White's sudden excitement as she has the idea of using the paw to bring her beloved son back to life. Jacobs chooses powerful adverbs to intensify her emotions. Mrs White talks "wildly", "hysterically" and "rapidly" at first. But all of a sudden she speaks "quietly" as she whispers to her husband "I want it!" showing her fierce determination to get her hands on this mystical object. The sudden contrast in the way she speaks and her erratic behaviour gives the impression she is not quite herself. It also makes her look dangerous and frightening not just to the reader, but also to her terror-stricken husband. The reader is beginning to think that this enigmatic object is slowly making its victims lose touch with reality. ...read more.


Instead he puts it down to a simple draft, even though there is no draft in the room. One by one all of the candles die out, the man tries to desperately relight them but with no luck. The writer's clever methods of describing this part of the story begin to frighten the reader and further mounts the tensions surrounding the man. Also the effect of the first person narrator telling the story is that it makes the reader feel as if they are there with the narrator and going through all the emotions and experience with him. In The Red Room H.G Wells focuses a lot on paranoia of the human mind and how it can lead you to believing many things. He also focuses on using adjectives, metaphors, similes etc. to convey fear and terror in to his writing. The next story I am going to discuss is The Judges House by Bram Stoker. In the extract from The Judges House Bram Stoker creates a sense of horror by focusing on the stormy weather outside as the character Malcomson - a young scholar who's searching for a place to stay, so he can study for his examinations quietly and untroubled, arrives at the house. Stoker emphasises on how the gale "seemed to shake" the old house, showing just how powerful the storm is, as the house is described as being a "heavy built house" with "heavy gables and windows". As the gale becomes more powerful it "roars and rages", this creates a picture in the readers mind that this storm is alive - almost like a ferocious creature attacking the house. The author describes the storm as making "strange, unearthly sounds" as if it comes from another world, this gives the impression that the storm is unnatural and makes the reader begin to feel that the house and situation isn't something out of the ordinary. ...read more.


The "silence" surrounding it, could give the impression that this is Malcomson's view of the situation - because there is stormy weather outside and the loud scurrying of rat's from the roof, its like he has blocked everything else out around him and is focused on the one powerful creature sitting in front of him. To conclude my essay on these three short stories, I would like to point out the similarities between them that contribute to successfully creating a sense of horror and scaring their readers. Firstly, all three stories successfully fill their readers with a sense of horror, by the authors using techniques such as suspense, dramatic impact, adjectives, metaphors, similes and many other language techniques. Secondly, each of the stories use similar themes such as typical gothic conventions, supernatural, madness and macabre. In The Monkey's Paw, one of the main characters is shown as almost losing her mind, in The Red Room, ghosts are a main factor and in The Judge's House, one of the main characters is a murderer. Thirdly, when these stories were written, books were one of the only forms of entertainment, so it was very important that the authors kept a loyal audience and satisfied their readers. Nowadays there are many other forms of entertainment so books aren't always considered very interesting or important. For example whereas in the 19th century one of their main forms of entertainment was horror books, nowadays we would prefer to watch horror films. Finally, each story has one or maybe two factors that it particularly focuses on; The Monkey's Paw - the Monkey's Paw, The Red Room - the darkness and ghosts, The Judge's House - the bell rope. By doing this it can create a lot of horror within a reader as each time they see the factor, they know that, that certain object will be the demise of the characters at the end of the story, but they don't know how. This is what scares the reader. By Hannah Evans ...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 H.G. Wells 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 H.G. Wells essays

  1. Gothic Horror stories. The three stories are 'The Signalman' written by Charles Dickens in ...

    These red lights signify death, evil and blood. In the signalman the red light is the light in the train tunnel. "He pointed to the red light..." This red light alone gives a feeling of unsettlement, but as the red light is in the dark train tunnel it adds to what this is meant to signify.

  2. How do writers of 19th century stories create tension and suspense

    The use of the personification makes the shadow appear daunting and gives the effect of anxiety. The 'spiral staircase' demonstrates that it is empty and this is typical of horror as all visions are blocked. The direction to the red room is very complicated.

  1. Gothic Horror

    Both Monkey's Paw & Red Room have similarities, and differences, and are based on the theme of Gothic Horror. Gothic Horror stories are usually filled with horror, and romance, and mostly have interactions with paranormal events. Monkey's Paw is situated in a rural area, which is sparsely populated, resulting in

  2. Narrative poetry is much more than a series of interesting tales. Do you agree? ...

    Unlike in 'The Listeners' we are told how he is dressed, he is dressed very well and carries extravagant and well polished weapons. "A coat of claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin." "His pistol butts a-twinkle, his rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky."

  1. How tension Is built Up in short stories

    The authors don't give away anything at the beginning of their tales, which is a very effective technique of enticement as it draws the reader into the book. However, Dickens supplies us with a very clear setting where 'The Signalman' is concerned: "His post was in as solitary and dismal a place as I ever saw."

  2. knowing and not knowing humour and iriony in H.G Wells' short stories

    of getting the disease he will turn bright blue, this is very ironic and humorous. What is also amusing is that the terrorist is stealing the test tube only because of the fact that he wants to get vengeance on all the people who were cruel to him in the past.

  1. Mystery stories- Pre 1914 prose

    mystery stories so it can gradually lead the reader up to an unsuspecting climax. The tension in "The Red Room" is never ending until the candle goes out at the very end. Tension is created as he walks through the passage ways describing creepy objects "I heard the sound of

  2. Knowing and not knowing, humour and irony in the short stories of H.G. Wells

    don't believe him and think he is lying quite well but not convincing enough. Victorians loved irony and found it very amusing. H.G. Wells was clever to include this in his stories because irony did not only make the stories more interesting but also humours and as I have stated in previous paragraphs, Victorians enjoyed that a lot.

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