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A comparison of how tension and suspense is created in three different stories.

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A comparison of how tension and suspense is created in three different stories 'The Red Room' by H. G. Wells, 'The Clubfooted Grocer' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'The Signal Man' by Charles Dickens are all short stories set in the nineteenth century. Knowing this the reader gets the impression that the stories will be taking him or her back in time. The author makes the reader imagine the story as it is described. All these stories convey some tension and suspense. In 'The Red Room', the story is about a man who is very confident that there is no such thing as ghosts. This is the first part of the story that starts to create suspense as the reader wants to find out what the man is willing to do to prove himself. He says that he will only start believing in ghosts if he meets a 'tangible one'. This story is set in an old mansion, where there is a room which is believed to be haunted by the men and women living there. This is also another region in the story where suspense and tension is created as the reader wants to find out what the ghost is like, why do the residents of the house believe it is harmful? ...read more.


At this point the reader thinks 'What is the use of the sailor?' these types of questions come to mind which create tension. Furthermore the driver of the trap seemed frightened of the sailor which shows that there was something about the sailor the reader and John do not know about. Another point where suspense and tension is created is when John is at the house of the farmer who is meant to give him a place to rest and eat. The wife of the farmer brings up a vital question which builds up a lot of tension, 'You've made up your mind to go then?' This question makes the reader think, 'Why did she ask such a question? Is there anything that we do not know of that is important? Is the uncle a good man?' Once John reaches the uncle's house, he finds out that the uncle had called him for a reason. He had to help the uncle escape the claws of the sailors which John met when he was riding to the farmer's house. This is where suspense and tension start to build up even more as the uncle tells John everything he thinks is relevant for John to know. The readers do get the feeling that the uncle is hiding something which creates tension. ...read more.


His thoughts are another reason why there is a lot of tension. The narrator creates a lot of tension and suspense in the way he has described the habits of the signalman, the area and the signalman's cabin, and the signalman himself. The use of language by the narrator is very vital in this story as it contributes to the suspense and tension. The narrator does this very well, 'a crooked prolongation of this great dungeon', simply describes the tunnel but the way it is described makes it look like it a horrible place. This is another reason why tension is conveyed. In the end of this story, the signalman dies of the exact same thing he feared after the first accident took place in the tunnel. The reader here wonders was it a coincidence or was it just fate? Personally I think all these stories were very well written but 'The Signalman' did not meet my criteria of personal favourites. It did not excite me as 'The Red Room' and 'The Clubfooted Grocer' did. It may also be because there was very little action in this story compared to the other two stories. I did not get the feeling of adrenaline rush when reading it. I enjoyed reading 'The Red Room' and 'The Clubfooted Grocer' because they were very interesting and did not drag on like 'The Signalman'. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bhavin Patel 08/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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