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Compare and Contrast the Ways in Which The Authors Set Out to Create a Sense of Fear In Their Readers.

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Compare and Contrast the Ways in Which The Authors Set Out to Create a Sense of Fear In Their Readers In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the ways in which the authors of 'The whole town's sleeping' and 'A terribly strange bed' create a sense of fear in their readers. I will be finding similarities in many different areas of the stories, including, plot, characters and settings. Also I will be finding differences between Bradbury and Collin's use of language. 'The whole town's sleeping' is based around women in small town strangely being strangled. The people of the town don't know who the murderer is and he may never be revealed. In 'A terribly strange bed' a man is in a seedy gambling house and is winning all the money. A man drugs his drink and he goes to the bedroom for a nap. The bed starts to move. The man only just escapes. The plot of the two stories is quite similar in the way that both the main characters put themselves in danger. Lavinia Nebbs the main character is an independent woman and will not rely on anyone, "If there were any real chance of anything happening to me, I'd stay here with you." The author of 'The whole towns sleeping' put a sense of fear in the reader by building up the tension. ...read more.


He notices that he was moving downwards when he realises the picture was rising. The main characters are similar and have many comparisons. Bradbury's character, Lavinia Nebbs, was independent but shown as vulnerable as she was a woman, she walks home alone despite her friends telling her otherwise. She is now taking a risk and her fear is shown later because she is isolated, "The night was listening to her, alone she was, alone." Wilkie Collins's character was the narrator. He is put in danger by ignoring his friend, "I had rejected his advice (I was to all intents and purpose gambling drunk)". He wouldn't stop winning and was making everyone angry, he was still imperturbable though. This creates fear as his surroundings begin to envy him but he was not aware. He doesn't see the danger until the bed in the room begins to descend. In both of the short stories there are other characters. Both have a good friend and a person who is jealous. 'The whole towns sleeping' has a woman called Francine and she is continuously crying and this shows us that there must be something to fear. She is always looking out for Lavinia's sake and doesn't want her to walk home alone, "I don't suppose its any use asking you to stay." ...read more.


There are many hyphenated words when the story begins to speed up with fear. The men slowly begin to interrupt each other; this shows that they are slowly beginning to get drunk, "I felt more completely intoxicated than ever". Later we share the narrators fear when he enters the room and cannot move when the bed lowers. In 'The whole towns sleeping' there is some irony in the sense that the woman is not safe in her own home, "she put her hand out to the light switch and stopped. 'What?' she asked. ' what? What?'" Also there is irony as the people who are not at risk are locked up for the night in their houses away from the lonely one. The story is a horror/mystery but without all the clues. The story is full of accusations and the whole town is a suspect, even the main character, Lavinia Nebbs. There is not much of a community and no one trusts anyone. 'A terribly strange bed' has the main character put himself deliberately in danger, so the reader has no sympathy for him. He is just looking for kicks and excitement, which nearly costs him his life, "My blood seemed to stand still." I have compared and contrasted the two short mystery stories in many different sectors. In these different areas I have concentrated on how fear is conveyed to the reader. ...read more.

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