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English Lit coursework - pre 1900 prose

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Introduction

GCSE LITERATURE COURSEWORK The literary Tradition Pre 1900 Prose In this essay, I will be examining the way in which pre-1900 writers create effective ghost/horror stories. I will do this by analysing five different stories. These stories are The Monkey's Paw - W.W Jacobs, Let Loose - Mary Cholmondeley, The Lawyer and the Ghost - Charles Dickens, The Tell-Tale Heart - Edgar Allen Poe and An Arrest - Ambrose Bierce. These writers have used a range of different literary techniques to make their story effective. I will be discussing five of these techniques in the essay. To create an effective ghost story certain techniques have to be used, and these techniques are even more important when writing a ghost/horror story to make the story suitable to its genre. The first technique is Setting and Atmosphere. This technique is used to create the right atmosphere for the scene. It has been used in all of the stories, and by doing this the authors have created the correct mood for a ghost/horror story. Although Setting and Atmosphere is present throughout all five stories, it is used mostly in The Monkey's Paw and Let Loose. In 'The Monkey's Paw', Jacobs uses Setting and Atmosphere to begin his story. ...read more.

Middle

While he is in a dark forest, he sees the officer that he has killed. "..., the jailer as white as death and bearing upon his brow, the livid mark of the iron bar" The technique of Supernatural is obvious in this quote, as he is seeing the ghost of the man that he has just killed. The words 'white as death' show the reader exactly how inhumanely pale he is, even though the reader knows he is dead, it is scary to imagine this. Also as the mark where the main character hit him is visible, it shows that the main character isn't imagining the officer, the way he was before his death but how he looks now. This shows that it is his ghost that he is imagining. The third technique is Suspense. When writers use this technique they make the readers anxious, by wanting to know what will happen next in the story. Suspense is an important technique needed to write a ghost story, as it can also help create an element of fear. Suspense is used throughout 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and 'Let Loose'. The story is told through the eyes of a mad man who, every night is trying to kill the man he lives with, he fails every night but eventually succeeds. ...read more.

Conclusion

While he has received the money, he was also hurt in the process by the death. The language used in this quote, shows sarcasm by the son. The fact that he is questioning his father also shows how sure he is that money will not hurt his father, it will only make him happier. Another example of Irony is in, 'Let Loose'. The main character is talking about a young girl who has passed away, he is even more shocked, as he had only had seen her the night before. "..., the little girl whom I had taken on my knee the evening before, had died in the night" This is an example of Irony because, later on in the story another man, who the main character had just briefly met also dies, so this makes the reader think that anyone that he speaks to or even sees, are in danger. In my opinion, the technique that was most effective was Unseen Terror, because I believe that it is the most needed technique, for a ghost story because it is the technique that really frightens the reader. To me, the most effective story, was 'The Tell-Tale Heart', I enjoyed this story because it was different to other ghost stories that I have previously read, as it gave a stranger perspective because of the way that it was told. ...read more.

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