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From the collection of short stories you have read, discuss the ways in which the writers succeed in creating a sense of tension and suspense

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From the collection of short stories you have read, discuss the ways in which the writers succeed in creating a sense of tension and suspense. Support your discussion with examples from the stories. ________________ In this assessment I am going to discuss the ways in which a selection of writers build suspense and tension through their stories. I will use two stories from before nineteen fourteen and two from after nineteen fourteen. I will use 'The Red Room' by H.G Wells because it is from before nineteen fourteen. The story is about a man who stays in a room in an old castle to disprove the alleged existence of a ghost. Also from before nineteen fourteen is 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens, it is about a man who visits a signal man and hears how he has had supernatural encounters with someone or something. A story from after nineteen fourteen is 'Man from the South' by Roald Dahl. In this story a sailor bets his finger for a sports car. Finally I will discuss 'Farthing House' by Susan Hill. Like in 'The Signalman' someone encounters supernatural experiences, but in an old peoples home. In 'The Red Room' tension is built up immediately by the presence of the old people. "the man with the withered arm... ...the man with the shade... ...the old woman sat staring into the fire, her pale eyes wide open." ...read more.


The tension is kept until the very end of the story but is very strong throughout the counting as he lights the lighter. "'Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven!'" The reader is in suspense as to what will happen next and if it doesn't light, what would happen to man's little finger. Like the signalman and the red room, farthing house is also a ghost story. But unlike the other, the storyteller actually saw a ghost and could describe it. "She was young, with a flowing, embodied night gown, high necked and long sleeved. Her hair was long too, and as pale as her face." The description helps the reader to imagine seeing her, and feel the suspense of what she might do like the niece did. The suspense is created in the red room by the mentioning of ghosts because we do not know if the ghost is evil or not, or even if it exists. It is set in an old castle where there is a lot of darkness so suspense is created because we don't know what could be lurking behind a corner. When the candles go out, they go out without smoke as if someone or something had put it out with their fingers. "I turned my head involuntarily, and saw that two candles on the little table by the fireplace had been extinguished." At first seemed to be a coincidence but as more and more went out the tension started to build. ...read more.


It was also more acceptable to people about the supernatural, whereas now we would need hard evidence of the supernatural before we could believe. The man from the south is set in a time where he expects to survive if his finger is cut off and a time when cars were being made. But it had to be before pens because there was an ink well and some blotting paper on a table. All of the stories successfully created tension and suspense, but in different ways. Most characters were strange in the stories because this starts the suspense straight away. But if the character appears normal it is unexpected that something strange will happen, so when it does it will be more of a shock. The plot style varied in the stories, some had the main event at the beginning and some had it at the end. Both ways worked successfully in the way that they were presented. In most stories the suspense is created throughout the story so the reader is hooked all the way through. I think that style worked the best because it didn't get boring. All the endings were open ended, or cliffhangers, this keeps the reader in the suspense even when the story is over. The timings were essential to different stories and how they work, some stories need newer inventions like cars to work whereas some need the old fashioned way to make sense. Nicky Pearson 10s 21 October 2003 1 ...read more.

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