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English coursework Prose study-Examine the settings that the writers have chosen for their stories. Consider the effects each writer has created and how they contribute to the atmosphere.

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Introduction

English coursework Prose study-Examine the settings that the writers have chosen for their stories. Consider the effects each writer has created and how they contribute to the atmosphere. In this piece of coursework I shall examine the atmosphere created in five stories taken from the book called "Mystery stories of the nineteenth century' these being a collection of Victorian short stories, all consisting of some sort of mystery. I shall look at the atmosphere created within these stories and explain how the author of the story has used certain words and effect to give the reader a certain feel off the surrounds, thus creating an atmosphere. The first of the stories is 'The Ostler' which was written in 1855. An Ostler being a stableman who works in barn or a stable by cleaning and being involved in other stable work, this was a common job in the Victorian times as there were no cars, just horse and carts. This is the story of a man called Isaac Scatchard who we find asleep in a barn at the beginning of the story; a man who is in the barn at the time wakes him. When Isaac awakes from his restless sleep he looks bothered and upset, the man asks Isaac why he looks so forlorn. The man later goes on to find Isaac talking and shouting in his sleep as if he is being attacked, the shouts are terrifying and brings Isaac to a shaken stance when he awakes. Isaac goes on to tell the tale of how he was having a nightmare about a horrible woman attacking him with a knife. Isaac thinks this nightmare to be nothing but all in his mind and soon forgets about the coarse details, Isaac goes onto re-live the event in his life which leads him to have such nightmares. ...read more.

Middle

A lot of his stories were written in the same era as Jack the Ripper, this was a time when the police weren't trusted by the public, and so the stories are written about a private detective who would b much more trusted in the times this story was written. The doctor whom the engineer goes to see about his amputated thumb narrates this story. Mr Victor Hatherley is an engineer who is the main character within the story; he goes to a doctor for some help regarding his amputated thumb. The doctor recognises the wound, and concludes that the man must have been stuck with a sharp object causing the loss of his thumb. The engineer goes onto tell his story to the doctor and claims that he was nearly killed. The doctor asks for the engineer to go and see a trusted private detective he no's, a certain Sherlock Holmes. The engineer explains his story to the detective, he tells him how he was involved with fixing a machine for a group of suspicious individuals, he goes on to tell Sherlock Holmes how the people how strange these people he worked for appeared to be. The employers of the engineer tried to kill him by throwing him into the press machine that he was working on. He manages to escape however by jumping free out of the window. When he jumps from the window he hangs for a brief moment on the window ledge before, it is within this time that one of the strange men comes and strikes at his hand with a sharp object, causing the loss of his thumb. This story starts off with a fast beginning, and creates almost straight away a strangely mysterious atmosphere, which invited the reader to read on. ...read more.

Conclusion

The author explains almost immediately the sinister plot of the story and the reader knows immediately what to expect. The story builds up a lot of tension as the reader expects something supernatural to occur, however tension is mounted as the story goes on and nothing significant happens. The unnatural atmosphere is created within the first sentence of the story, where a ghost is immediately mentioned. The author builds of this within the first two pages, using a vast amount of dark and twisted words such as, ' Ghost, fire, withered arm, staring, old, mirror, bent wrinkled, hang, pale.' Each of these words creates a picture in the reader's mind of an old haunted manor, a traditional setting for the supernatural to happen, and very old-fashioned style of room. This could be an excellent setting for a ghost story; very stereotypical however it allows the audience to create there own view on what the settings should look like. The description of the characters also adds to the dark twisted atmosphere, making me feel these people have lived in this house forever. The description given to the house creates the same type of atmosphere as the description on the characters living in it, both of them adding together to create a unique evil presence within the house. The words are dark and complex, 'a glimpse of myself, abbreviated and broadened to an impossible sturdiness.' This is a twisted shape of a person, adding to the sick and twisted atmosphere given off by the house, it also fits in well with the people who live in the house. The atmosphere in this story is a stereotypical haunted house, and I feel the story is built up a lot on what is supposed to happen, but however never does happen, the seeing of a ghost. 1 ...read more.

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