• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the ways Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe and Roal Dahl create the characters of the villans and the atmosphere of suspense and horror in the short stories we have studied.

Extracts from this document...


Compare the ways Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe and Roal Dahl create the characters of the villans and the atmosphere of suspense and horror in the short stories we have studied. In the three short stories 'The Tell-Tale Heart', 'Lamb To The Slaughter', and 'The Ostler', there are many similarities and many differences, for instance, 'Lamb To The Slaughter' is quite a modern story is was written in about 1950, but the other two stories were written in the 19th century, so the language is quite different, Collins and Poe use quite gothic language, whereas Dahl does not tend to use any gothic language . Another difference between the stories, is that we believe the villain in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is mad, he seems to live on his own (apart from the old man). This is also the same for 'The Ostler', Rebecca Murdoch is slightly more mysterious, but we do know her name and her gender. But we never actually see into the mind of Rebecca, whereas, we see everything from the viewpoint of the man in 'The Tell Tale Heart'. In 'Lamb To The Slaughter', we are not lead to believe that Mary Maloney is mad. We know quite a lot about her, we know that she is pregnant and this is what could have caused her to kill her husband, it could have also been her anger building up inside her as her husband was telling her he was leaving her. Wilkie Collins has created a very strong, mysterious and frightening villain in his story, 'The Ostler'. ...read more.


We know that in the past the villain has had some sort of disease, he does not say what it was but we would assume that was a mental illness as he says, "The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them. Above all the sense of hearing acute" he proves the fact that he has an acute sense of hearing a few times in the story, "the beating grew louder, louder! The sound would be heard by a neighbour" the beating of the old man's heart can not have been that extreme, so the villain is obviously hearing things, this could be the first sign of guilt that we see from the villain. Dahl creates a very different villain in his short story 'Lamb To The Slaughter' . we know a lot about her and if she were a real woman, she wouldn't be the sort of person you would expect to be a villain. She is very different from the villains in the other two stories, as she has a more justified reason to kill, her husband is leaving her (we do not know why) and she kills him, she is also pregnant and this could have helped with the killing, as most pregnant woman can do some very strange and awful things and would probably not do them otherwise. At the start of the story she seems like the perfect housewife, she sits and waits for husband to come home and makes him a drink. ...read more.


Like when her husband is going to tell her something, "he had become absolutely motionless, and he kept his head down so that the light from the lamp beside him, fell across the upper part of his face. She noticed there was a little muscle moving near the corner of his left eye" This leaves the reader on the edge of their seat, wondering what will happen next. Another bit of suspense is when she has just killed her husband and we are waiting to see what will happen to her. A major difference in the way the stories are structured between the three tales is in 'The Ostler' Collins uses a very good technique by opening with the ending, this is a good way to engage the reader, as it wants to make us read on and find out what is happening to the ostler as he seems to be having a very disturbing dream and the author gives us a detailed description of the man, that leaves us asking question about what had happened to him to leave him with "prematurely wrinkled cheeks" and a withered woe-be gone face" As a conclusion, the two villains in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and 'The Ostler' are in fact looking closely, similar and the techniques the two authors use are also similar, these two stories differ greatly from Roald Dahl's story, 'Lamb To The Slaughter'. The story that is best in building up the horror and suspense is 'The Ostler' as the story has the most mysterious character. Natalie Crouchley 10A 26th October 2004 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Roald Dahl section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Roald Dahl essays

  1. In this essay I am going to discuss how Dahl uses language, characters, and ...

    It is as if she were standing behind the door and expecting him to ring. How she predicted this, must have some connection, with the "evil eyes" notice board. This is very extraordinary and the reader feels that there is something not right here with this woman.

  2. Compare The Signalman by Charles Dickens and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. ...

    Each author wrote their story for a certain audience. The Signal Man was written in the 19th century. If we consider the historical background of Dickens story railways were about thirty or forty years old and must have seemed new and exciting for readers. Readers, incidentally had no radio, TV, video, computers or access to the internet and so

  1. Comparing and Contrasting Three Fear Stories

    'The Landlady' is written in the third person. This helps the reader to get a better overview and insight of Billy's thoughts and feelings as the story unfolds. This makes the reader become in the same situation as Billy but because the reader can read into depth a bit more

  2. How does Roal Dahl create unease and tension in 'The Landlady'

    The fact that all of them are in a ruined, neglected state could mean that no one lives in those houses any more. If this is true, then the isolation of Billy in a sort of a "Dead area" of the town is frightening.

  1. Compare the murderers and their crimes, with attention to their description, in 'The Tell ...

    The text does not say this directly but we know this to be true from evidence such as, "ill give you money and see you're looked after" along with other phrases with strongly suggests he's leaving her.

  2. Compare and Contrast Wilkie Collins' "A Terribly Strange Bed " to Roald Dahl's "The ...

    However, as he is about to walk away, the sign catches his attention once again. "his eye was caught and held in a most peculiar manner ... it said BED AND BREAKFAST, BED AND BREAKFAST, BED AND BREAKFAST ...each word was like a large black eye staring at him."

  1. The Landlady - Roald Dahl , A teribly strange bed - Wilkie ...

    None of the gamblers spoke, they all sat in deadly silence watching the cards turn over as if the next hand may change their life forever. The physical descriptions of the other players seems utterly repulsive, -'thin haggard long haired young man, whose sunken eyes fiercely watched......'

  2. How did Roald Dahl create atmosphere and tension in the story Lamb to the ...

    goes to the door to greet him with a kiss, he is home now and Mrs Maloney is glad to see him as any wife would be. They move into the living room and Mrs Maloney pours the drinks, an atmosphere of contentment is created "there was a slow smiling air about her and about everything she did".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work