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Consider the ways in which Ray Bradbury and Wilkie Collins create and use fear, suspense and tension in The Whole Town's Sleeping and A Terribly Strange Bed.

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Introduction

Wider reading Consider the ways in which Ray Bradbury and Wilkie Collins create and use fear, suspense and tension in The Whole Town's Sleeping and A Terribly Strange Bed. Ray Bradbury and Wilkie Collins both wrote thrillers. Both writers use similar techniques, though writing in two different eras. Both stories are influenced by the social and historical contexts in which they are written. Gambling was very popular in the 19th century so Wilkie Collins decided to reflect on this topic in A Terribly Strange Bed. Whereas, written in the 20th century A Whole Town's Sleeping has an independent woman as a main character, equal opportunities for women was a strong issue in the 20th century. The different centuries in which these stories are written contribute to the historical and cultural influences. In this paper I'm going to examine the ways in which Bradbury and Collins contribute and create fear, suspense and tension in their settings, plot, characters and language. Bradbury and Collins use similar characters in both stories to create tension. They both have a main character that is put in danger. Bradbury's Lavinia Nebbs is a 'very straight and slim lady who is in her thirties', she is very stubborn and pig headed. ...read more.

Middle

Both the town and the ravine are lonely places that can be used to shadow the lonely one. Collins uses the contrast between two gambling houses to create fear. Frascati's is a "respectable gambling-house"pg57. Whereas The Gambling house is seen to be a Un respectable as a bad place, the Narrator says 'let us go somewhere where we can see a little genuine, blackguard, poverty-stricken gaming.'Pg57. It's a place for people who are not well off, for the "Poverty-stricken" pg57, to go, the people are described as 'dirty, haggard long haired' pg.58.Its for the dirty unwanted people. This straight away causes a sense of unease the lonely unwanted people are going to this place. The room in A Terribly Strange Bed is portrayed as a bit of safety for the narrator, he barricades himself in and it seems safe. The fact that he has to barricade himself inside, immediately insinuates that the narrator knows something's wrong. The ways the settings are set contribute to the fear. A lot of suspense and tension is used in both A Terribly Strange Bed and A Whole Town's Sleeping. Both writers use the same technique in different ways they both use Characters, setting and plot to create and sustain the use fear, tension and suspense. ...read more.

Conclusion

He died a terrible death, this heightens the readers' awareness and brings them to conclusion that maybe The Narrator was going to die a horrific death, this increases tension dramatically. I preferred A Whole Town's Sleeping to A Terribly Strange Bed. It was structured better, the language was easier to understand, it was generally, more interesting than A Terribly Strange Bed. The methods in which Bradbury used the characters, plot and settings to create and sustain fear, tension and suspense was increasingly effective a lot more obvious than Collins uses of them. Bradbury mirrored the stereotypical view of woman. His uses of characters made them believable, realistic and also relatable. E.g. Lavinia- headstrong woman that listens to nobody. Francine- the fearful, innocent and sensible friend. . On the other hand, Collins uses people that are unrealistic and non believable. The narrator- Foreigner, who gambles with strangers, stays in an unknown destination over night, on his lonesome. To summaries Ray Bradbury's use of the plot, characters, setting and language created and sustained immense fear, suspense and tension in A Whole Town's Sleeping very effectively. Collins uses of the plot, characters, setting and tension in A Terribly strange Bed, although effective it wasn't as effective as A Whole Town's Sleeping. and didn't really appeal to work as well as that of the uses of Ray Bradbury. Christina Adenaike 1 ...read more.

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