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Examine the ways in which HG Wells creates atmosphere in The War of the Worlds by close reference to key episodes.

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GCSE English Prose Assignment Examine the ways in which HG Wells creates atmosphere in The War of the Worlds by close reference to key episodes. The novel was written by HG Wells and first published in 1898 at the end of the nineteenth century. The feelings of the people around the end of the nineteenth century are similar to what we felt at the end of the twentieth century. Excitement and curiosity about space and space travel. We saw the new century as a time of hope and fear and so did the people at the end of the nineteenth century. Often ideas about the future were expressed through science fiction and generally showed fears towards the future and uncertainty. The first episode of the novel describes a mysterious cylinder landing from outer space, a crowd begins to gather and a young man is pushed by the frantic crowd on top of the cylinder. In this episode HG Wells creates an atmosphere of alarm, anxiety and revulsion. For example, the man who has been pushed onto the cylinder is clearly afraid, shown by him trying to "scramble out of the hole again" the word scramble suggests a sense of frantic urgency and panic in his actions. The narrator is almost 'pitched on top of the screw", as somebody "blundered" against him. ...read more.


The narrator writes the detail of his escape from them. The atmosphere is full of tension and fear we know this as the fear brings the sense of the narrators physical pain agony", "painfully" and rapidly getting hotter" makes us see the narrators pain. The tension in the atmosphere comes from the uncertainty of the Martians. "I saw them dimly" this suggests that the Martians are hidden and out of sight. The atmosphere of fear and tension gives way to a feeling of relief, "And then, very slowly, I realised that by a miracle I had escaped" this shows the tension has been relieved and a sense of relief is shown due to the narrator surviving the Martians. The writer HG Wells appeals to the senses in his description of the physical pain of the narrator, "breast high in almost boiling water" makes us see the narrator being scalded in water. The atmosphere builds more tension when the narrator is "scalded, half blinded, agonised I staggered" this makes a dramatic and horrific picture. However the anticipation and tension comes to a climax when "I expected nothing but death", this shows us the narrator thought he was going to die and then he continues to say "I realised by miracle I had escaped" the atmosphere of tension would now be relief and joy at surviving the Martians. ...read more.


In conclusion HG Wells creates a sense of many different atmospheres I think he goes into more detail in the atmosphere of tension and fear ot get across the ferocity of Martians. This makes the reader more interested and they feel the tension the Martians bring. Another atmosphere HG Wells creates is a one of relief and safeness after the Martians have been defeated; it makes you feel better because you know that the Martians are dead but also relieved that they cannot kill any more people. These atmospheres will affect the people of the nineteenth century in good and bad ways. In good ways it will make them see what may happen if Martians actually did land and what they would look like, but bad because it will make them worry about if Martians did land they would kill a lot of people and create atmospheres of tension and anxiety. I don't believe the story of the War of the Worlds has the power to create such a fear to people as it may have in the nineteenth century as people in theses days know about space travel. We have had people go into space to see if they could find something in space living, but nothing yet has been found however in the nineteenth century the people then did not know about space travel and did not know a lot of facts about space only fictional tales. ...read more.

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