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Examine the characters and settings that the authors have used in each story.

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Introduction

Examine the settings and characters that the writers have chosen for their stories in "The Speckled Band", "The Man with the Twisted Lip", and "The Red Room". Consider the effects that each writer has created, and how they contribute to the atmosphere. We read three short mystery stories, which all tried to keep the reader interested by building up the suspense. Each story had its own way of keeping you gripped until the end. "The Speckled Band" keeps the reader interested by a murder being committed, and the reader doesn't know who did it. As usual Sherlock Holmes investigates, and as always discovers who the murderer was. The ending to 'The Speckled Band' was a solution as Sherlock Holmes revealed who the murderer was, and how he killed Miss Stoner. "The Man with the Twisted Lip" has an unusual twist to the story. Sherlock Holmes begins to investigate what he thinks is a murder inquiry, but finds no body. Later on in the story he realises that in fact there was no murder, but the person who went missing wasn't actually missing, just in disguise. This story ending was also a solution (even though there hadn't actually been a murder) as Sherlock Holmes solved the investigation. "The Red Room" keeps the reader gripped to the story, as H.G Wells actually tells the story from two points. ...read more.

Middle

The Opium den is also described as a "terraced with wooden berths like the forecastle of an emigrant ship". This quote is a simile and is describing the den as being in cramped, awful conditions. The final setting that we're going to be looking at is Mrs St. Clairs house. Mrs St. Claires house is described as "a large villa" in "its own grounds", a drive way with its "floods of light" and comfortable bedroom. Mrs St. Claires house is described as the complete opposite of the other two settings, as it is described as light, happy, cheerful and large and seems like heaven compared to the other settings, which are described as black, dark, dull and as hell. The author uses a variety of languages to create suspense and set the scene. An example of this could be "along the passage . . . come to a door . . . a spiral staircase . . . a landing . . . another door . . . long corridor . . .up the steps." This suggests that the corridor/stairway is on going, and goes on and on. It also suggests that it is away from all other rooms, away from everything and everyone, tucked away where no one will find it, and so adds to the feeling of remoteness. The quote "shadows 'cower and quiver' listening to a rustling that I fancied I heard, but there is absolute silence." ...read more.

Conclusion

But there is Neville St Claire. Neville St Claire is said to be missing, but actually disguised himself as a beggar, when he had a good paying job and a lovely house in the country. Nevel St Claire would then be seen as a villain as he is claiming to be poor with no house, no food, no water and therefore taking money off passing people when it isn't actually needed. It could then be seen that Nevel St Claire is stealing money of the Public. In "The Red Room" the villain would probably be the visitors imagination. There isn't an actual villain, but the visitor imagines/experiences supernatural happenings. He thinks there is a ghost or maybe ghosts in his room, when it is actually his mind playing games on him. Which is why I think that the villain is his imagination. In my opinion I think that the story that is most successful in achieving a sense of mystery and creating an effective atmosphere would be "The Red Room". I think this because you don't actually know and you never find out if it was just the visitors mind playing games with him or if he did actually see a ghost. The fact that you are questioning yourself about a made up story makes me think about how good it is and how much suspense is actually created. The story makes you want to read on and find out what happened in the room, and I love the suspense and mystery of it. ...read more.

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