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Compare the way in which the author in both stories creates and atmosphere of tension in their work. The Two stories that I will compare are "The Old Nurses Story" by Elizabeth Gaskell (1852) and "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells (1896).

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Stephen Williams 11E1 G.C.S.E English Coursework Ms Jarvis Compare the way in which the author in both stories creates and atmosphere of tension in their work. The Two stories that I will compare are "The Old Nurses Story" by Elizabeth Gaskell (1852) and "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells (1896). Both are written within the gothic genre. The gothic genre was popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This genre is a type of fiction usually set in a ruined gothic castle or abbey. These stories emphasize mystery and horror and are filled with secret stairways, underground passages, and ghost-haunted rooms. Each story fits this genre because " The Old Nurses Story" is set in an old manor and "The Red Room" is set in a derelict house. In both stories the characters are scared to go to a certain part of the house/manor because it is 'haunted' by something or someone. They are both told in the first person, this is significant because it has the effect in which it draws the readers into the story as if they were there themselves around the fire etc. ...read more.


However the ending to "The Red Room" is an anti-climax where we find out that that it is haunted by "black fear". In "The Old Nurses Story" the author, Elizabeth Gaskell creates tension by using mystery " but those I never went through as long as I stayed in the house, so I can't tell you what lay beyond" this creates a vast sense anticipation and intrigue into finding out what lays beyond. The drawing room is described as "cheerful looking" this contrasts to the house which is made out to be ominous" I should be lost in that wilderness of a house". The use of syntax is common in "The Old Nurses Story" "my flesh began to creep" conversely it is infrequently used in "The Red Room". Elizabeth Gaskell also uses 'pathetic fallacy' to describe certain aspects of the story "hung heavy and black over the white earth, as if the night had never fully gone away". There are mini climaxes throughout "look, Hester! Look! There is my poor little girl out in the snow!" to help this there is use of onomatopoeia "beating and battering to get in" The similarities of these stories are that ...read more.


I also prefer "The Old Nurses Story" because it is more of an effective ghost story again because of identity, the ghost in this story is a person, and we find out background information that makes it easier to understand "I hear terrible screams - I hear my father's voice". "Black Fear" has none of this and therefore I feel the story has an anti-climax because of it. "The Red Room" is shorter and directly because of this there is little description and background into the plot, it is feasible to say that it is based on a myth and personally I find that this does not have enough effect to really intrigue readers and give a vast sense of tension. "The Old Nurses Story" is linguistic and the detailing is easy to understand therefore making the story easier and more interesting to read. Again the use of language helps to build tension by using adjectives such as "desolate" giving us an intriguing and mysterious sense of anticipation into what will happen next and how the story will climax. ...read more.

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