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Explore the method which writers use to create suspense and tension in 19th century stories.

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Introduction

Explore the method which writers use to create suspense and tension in 19th century stories. Stories have always been an influential and captivating way for authors to successfully put across a view or opinion regarding an issue or for the reader to gain a better recognition of another culture, country or way of life. In the 19th century when people rarely travelled afar and knew little about anywhere beyond their surroundings, stories were a crucial and effective way for the reader to gain an insight into, for instance, another country like what can be depicted in 'Desiree's Baby.' For this reason, it is essential for a writer to create tension and suspense within the novel to grasp and keep the reader's full attention for them to feel as if they are involved in the tale. The three predominant ways in which to achieve this are to include a suitable setting, characters and use of language. I believe that all three of the given stories demonstrate this; The 'Red Room' shows a young man who is absolutely certain that ghosts do not exist and sets out to prove his belief, 'Desiree's Baby' draws the reader into an entrancing story of how a young mother's life is mutilated by her pernicious husband, and 'The Necklace' tells the exceptional tale of a remarkably narcissistic middle-class woman who is not contempt with the life she has, and ends up immoderately worse off. ...read more.

Middle

He most likely thinks that because they are so much older than him, they have been lead by old tales from back then, when such things as witches and ghost were more conceivable. The 'Old custodians', especially, are alike to the unnerving feel of the castle by the description given by the author. One of the 'old custodians' in The Red Room, the old woman, regards the narrator as an unquestionably na�ve young man. 'Eight and twenty years you have lived and never seen the likes of this house...many things to see when one's eight and twenty.' From the language the old woman uses in this quote, it is evident that the she is confident that the man has much to experience yet as he is still very early into his life. She is convinced that he will have a swift change of mind when he has witnessed the demoniac phantoms within the room. This idea that the woman is portraying is building on the suspense of the story by hinting at the reader that the main character may be in for an unpleasant surprise. The man with the 'withered arm' is a peculiar character within the story, who takes the young man for a fool for willingly going into the room. ...read more.

Conclusion

I have chosen this as an example from the text because the writer has successfully captured the mood and feeling of the whole building by conveying how the narrator was panic-stricken by the view around him and how he is made fearful from something as natural as a shadow. Tension is created in this piece by letting the reader take in the visionary description of the setting and wonder what he will encounter as he continues his journey to the Red Room. The setting provided in The Necklace is somewhat familiar to some extent at the beginning, to that in the Red Room. The author of Desiree's Baby wanted the feel of the tale to be a little mystifying and has included a very illustrative description to accentuate this. 'Steep and black like a cowl reaching out beyond the wide galleries that encircled the yellow stuccoed house.' The setting, I think, mirrors what is underlying within the storyline, which is later to be discovered and is creative enough to provide a well illustrated image to the reader which is a quality that a good setting should possess. Whilst reading through the 19th century short stories, the use of language through similes, metaphors and generally high standard wording is apparent from the start of all three, to not only make the story enjoyable for the audience but to enhance and stimulate the tale by making it more entertaining. ...read more.

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