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Choose three characters from different stories. Compare their experiences.

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Introduction

Coursework on Stories of the Supernatural Choose three characters from different stories. Compare their experiences. How do the authors make these experiences seem strange and frightening to the reader? The three characters I have chosen are the Narrator from Charles Dickens' "Confessions Found in a Prison, Isaac Scatchard from Wilkie Collins' "The Ostler" and the Narrator from H.G. Wells' "The Red Room". In C.F.I.P (Confessions Found in a Prison) the narrator seems quite a normal man, but is driven to the murder of his nephew by the "evil eye". He first encounters this experience from his brother's wife, and then discovers it in their son (the boy he murders). Which influences him to kill the boy but his guilt leads to the discovery of the murder and thus the end of his life. In The Ostler, Isaac Scatchard is a man tormented by his wife. When he first meets her in the form of what appears to be a very realistic dream. He later meets her again and falls in love with this woman, who is called Rebecca Murdoch, but after their marriage their love begins to deteriorate, and Isaac realises that his wife is not quite normal and she has taken to drinking. Their marriage leads to Isaac's life being destroyed and she torments him even though she has gone. In R.R. (Red Room) the narrator is a rather arrogant young man who spends a night in Lorraine castle, in a "haunted" room. ...read more.

Middle

It is really his fear that caused him not to be able to hide the body. But even though the man has done a terrible thing, we do feel some sympathy for him, and this is emphasised in the closing statement "I am alone in this stone dungeon with my evil spirit, and that I die tomorrow. This makes us feel for the man, as he does seem to show some remorse, though he does not make excuses for his actions. Tension is also added as the story is told in the first person, because it feels as though we are being brought closer to the reader, that he is personally telling the story to us and that we are in direct relation to him. Tension is created in various ways in Wilkie Collins' The Ostler. The first way is how location is used. Before Isaac has the dream of his attempted murder, the environment is set by describing "the surging moan of wind". This adds tension as it gives it a scary factor, and leads us to expect some sort of action. This happens at 2 o' clock in the morning which causes the reader to feel discomforted. It gives the feel that when it is dark we become very helpless, and this makes it seem more frightening, foreboding, and it makes both the reader and Isaac feel threatened. Tension is added in other ways in The Ostler. At the beginning of the story we find a man with a "withered woebegone face", tension is creates here because we wonder who is this man and what is he doing here. ...read more.

Conclusion

We are then taken into the "Red Room". Tension is evident here by the man's poise gradually weakening. This can be shown in the candle and how it repeatedly goes out, the man tries to stay calm but you can tell he cannot tolerate it and is terrified by the darkness. The reader also feels some satisfaction because you feel the man had it coming and that he deserves it after being so arrogant and big-headed. In the end, the man who is now in a position a terrible fear and fright tells us that there are no ghosts, but it is fear itself that drove him into a mad fit. This makes the situation even more frightening and leads the reader to believe that if they are so afraid of something they could end up in a similar condition. These stories were written in Victorian times and were very successful when published, because people were fascinated by supernatural stories. This may have been due to the fact that they were "Run of the mill" people. Or some people felt they could relate well to the stories. They would not have had TVs and so this would have been their entertainment. During these times people relished stories of the unknown and supernatural, and the authors obliged and given them what they wanted. But today, these stories would not be so popular due to the high demand for quality TV, and the decline in book reading. Therefore the imagination of today's society has been weakened. It is a pity that society doesn't appreciate quality literature now. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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