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A Comparison of how Fear and Tension are created and Used in Talking in Whispers and “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”

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A Comparison of how Fear and Tension are created and Used in Talking in Whispers and "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" Both authors use fear and tension in their stories. "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" was written in the nineteenth century and is set in Victorian England, whereas Talking in Whispers is set in Chile, and was written towards the end of the twentieth century, but both contain similar elements of fear and tension. The authors use different techniques in order to create tension and fear, and I will examine some of these in the course of my essay. I will begin by looking at Watson's novel. Fear and tension are created in three main ways in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"; namely character, setting and plot. First, I will look at character. The character that creates the most fear and tension in the story is Dr. Grimesby Roylett. He is a very angry, loud and impatient man. He is powerful and intelligent. He once "beat his native butler to death". He is the "terror of the village" near his manor. ...read more.


The reader jumps to the conclusion that the gypsies killed her sister. However, once you get to Stoke Moran, your ideas and thoughts soon change. Holmes tries to get into Helen Stoner's room from the outside, but finds it impossible, so the reader thinks that the killer must have come from the inside, and that the killer is Doctor Roylett. When Holmes finds the dummy bellpull, the ventilator, the milk and the marked chair, it starts to look like Dr Roylett committed the murder in a very complicated way. When Holmes decides to spend the night in the room, the quiet and darkness, as well as Holmes saying that this was 'a very dangerous situation', makes this scene full of tension. When Holmes jumps up and strikes at the bellpull, the tension is both released and added to, because finally something has happened, but you are not totally sure what. Doyle often uses rather long, unfolding sentences in this story. This has two effects; one, to make sure that the reader is well informed and can think about what is written, and two, it keeps the pace of action slow. ...read more.


We can also compare events in Chile to events in England, and this can help us to understand fear. Watson uses more short and snappy sentences than long flowing sentences, and I think this helps to make the book more exiting. He also uses lots of metaphors and similes to describe characters and events. For example, calling his torturers "hog" and "snake". The metaphors/similes are closely linked to the imagery used as they really help the reader to conjure up a picture of what is going on. Both James Watson and Arthur Conan Doyle excel at creating fear and tension in their stories. Both authors use lots of direct speech and character thoughts, which allows us to get to know the characters and thus feel their fear. I think that Watson has been the more successful author at creating fear and tension in his story. This is basically because Talking in Whispers contains a lot more continual action and danger than "The Adventure of the Speckled Band". In Talking in Whispers Andreas's life is in danger in every twist in the tale, but "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" is just too quiet and slow to capture the imagination. GCSE English Coursework 19 November 2001 - Alex Bull ...read more.

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