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Examining nineteenth century short stories - "A Vendetta" by Guy De Maupassant and "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells.

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Introduction

19th Centaury Short Stories Examine the form of the nineteenth centaury mystery story giving examples from any you have read. Story telling was a very popular form of entertainment in the nineteenth centaury since there wasn't the technology for televisions, radios and cinemas etc. like there is today, so people had to look for different sorts of entertainment. This entertainment came in the form of story telling and became very popular in the nineteenth centaury. Fiction was a very popular genre in the nineteenth centaury and stories were mainly concerned with mystery and the supernatural (since these were extremely popular), for example Sherlock Holmes. Their popularity maybe explained by the common interest in the afterlife (death) and the supernatural as the grip religion had on society at the time was very strong. To fulfil the objective of this piece of work, I have read two nineteenth centaury mystery stories: - "A Vendetta" by Guy De Maupassant and "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells. The themes in the story "A Vendetta" are mainly revenge and murder since the story talks of a widow whose son is murdered and how she had achieved her promised vengeance through unusual means (by using the dog Frisky as a weapon). The main theme of the story "The Red Room" is the supernatural with reference to ghosts haunting the so-called "Red Room". Their popularity can be explained by the popularity of these themes as explained previously. ...read more.

Middle

Lastly, "The flames were still dancing between the glowing coals." Here the writer suggests that the flames are "Dancing". The sentence also makes the reader or listener imagine the flames more easily because of these vivid images. H.G.Wells has also enhanced this sentence further by adding, "Splashing red reflection upon the furniture". Here the writer explains how the reflection of light from the flames affects the surroundings ("Splashing" their "Red reflection"). Both these sentences create a spooky and ghostly atmosphere because of the unique way that the writer describes the flames. In the story "A Vendetta" there is a lot of bloodthirsty details since its main themes are death and murder (both related to the spilling of blood). Some examples of such details that I find particularly effective are; "There was blood everywhere" This portrays a gory scene full of blood (also helps to set the atmosphere since it is describing the scene) The writer also describes the actions of the dog Frisky in great detail such as, "Burying her teeth deep into the straw and tore out bits of sausage." This sentence expresses the dog's anger well and it creates a scene of frantic chaos. Near the end of the story the writer portrays an extremely gory scene through one sentence, "Frisky wrenched at his throat tearing it to ribbons." A strong image of death is portrayed in this sentence. ...read more.

Conclusion

And, "The howling dog". The sense of sound is described here and is effective since they give us an image of what is happening. "Pressing her cold lips against the dead man's lips." This sentence portrays a cold atmosphere while describing the sense of touch. "Her gaze always fixed on the coast." This describes the sense of sight, as the woman is looking at Sardinia (the refuge of her son's assassin). "Smell of which sharpened her appetite." The word, "Sharpened," means, "Increased" as Frisky smells the meat. In "The Red Room" there are many examples of the five senses. "The old woman sat staring hard into the fire." The words, "Staring hard," describe exactly what the woman is doing effectively. Also the writer says, "I heard the sound of a stick and a shambling shop on the flags in the passage outside." This sentence is effective because of the vocabulary that the writer uses, such as, "Shambling" meaning unsteady. "I caught a momentary glimpse." Here also vocabulary is effectively used. Saying, "Momentary glimpse." has a greater impact than saying, "Quickly saw." I have enjoyed reading both stories although I found "A Vendetta" more appealing because of the more vivid bloodthirsty detail. Also I like how the widow had achieved vengeance using the dog Frisky since it is unusual and quite unique. I particularly liked the phrase, "Frisky wrenched at his throat." Because it is very vivid and bloodthirsty. "The Red Room" was also enjoyable but this enjoyment was dampened by the complex traditional words and style, which made it hard to understand at some parts. ...read more.

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