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Generations Coursework Assignment-prose Fiction Pre 1914 "Generations" short stories Ed Mark Royston. These Stories Describe Strange And Supernatural Events. How Do Their Authors Create The Feeling Of: * The extraordinary * Fear And Terror * Suspense? The first of the three stories I would like to discuss is "the Superstitious Man's Story" which was written in the year of the Parkfield earthquake, which occurred in 1891. At this time there were many superstitions about death and omens believed by people who live in the country in Dorset. The story starts with "there was something very strange about William's death." This has the affect of holding the reader in suspense. We are then introduced to a man, William and his wife, Betty Privet. The story becomes strange when we realise that his ghost has left the house, which adds to the fear and terror to the book. "He went out and closed the door behind him." Before saying "she found him in their bed sleeping sound as a rock. This immediately strikes fear into the reader. Although Betty had not seen him leave she appeared to be certain that William passed through the living room while she was ironing. Although no words were spoken she most certainly could feel the presence of him "while she ironed she could hear him coming down the stairs...came into the living room.... Passing towards it through the door" this illustrates the point that she knew that he was there and that he had gone and left the house. The reader than starts to toy with the idea that the person she saw was in fact a ghost. This adds suspense, the extraordinary and fear and terror to the short story. At this point it seemed that the old folk law of the soul leaving the body had amazingly come true. This confirms the reader's first reaction to the story and that it is about the extraordinary and all the ideas associated with it. ...read more.


The reader then realises that the child is in her child. This strikes both fear and the extraordinary into the reader. It is clear that the uncle will be killing three people and not just one. Him, his mother and father. This adds another section to the huge list of reasons to dislike the uncle. "That night I buried him in a garden." This is similar to many other murders. It strikes fear again into the reader. At this point Dickens changes the structure somewhat by using lots of short sentences and commas. This adds to the fear of the story as it seems to speed up and more strong imagery is used. "I ordered scouts in every direction." This is the cover up of the terrible crime. The reader is now in suspense asking themselves if justice will be done and the boy is found. Though this does seem unlikely, as no one would believe that it was he. "I spent the night in fits and starts." He is dreaming about what he has done. He is reliving the search and the murder, which further enhances the fear, and suspense in the reader as the story is told again. This also shows that the uncle is feeling guilty and the reader may now have a better opinion of him. "I sat down with my chair upon the grave." This is very strong imagery. The reader at this point will be feeling the suspense. The man who wanted the boy only for the money is now sitting on him. "I shivered." He obviously is very concerned with what he has done. The shivering makes him more life like to the reader. "The angry dog tearing at the earth." The dog's action is very similar to that of the uncle. This shows that a mere dog has similar characteristics to him. The story ends with "I die tomorrow." ...read more.


I believe that Wells has done extraordinarily well to make ordinary events seem much more sinister. He has been able to play on the fear of people to create a story feared my numerous people. The three horror stories all have differentiating styles of frightening the reader. Some used folk laws around in this country at that time. Others used ideas from other people to help create a truly horrific story whilst managing to use great imagery and description. I think that all three of the above can be found inside these stories. Today's films use the same ideas and concepts to shock people. This shows how good imagery and description will forever be crucial in horror books and film as they are able to shock an audience without becoming tame. Especially if murder, abduction or supernatural beings are used. All three authors create atmosphere by their choice of language. For example when describing people with a "withered arm" and "monstrous shadow." As well as their description of houses "queer old mirror" and "door creaked" these have been much used clich�s in horror films and novels throughout the 20th Century. I think that all three writers have managed to use the ideas of horror stories from people like Edgar Allan Poe. In particular, Hardy uses Poe's types of settings such as ddilapidated and derelict buildings. They use these locations to illustrate people who have neglected their own welfare and were regarded as morally corrupt. Another common theme that runs through the three stories is the constant gloominess suggested by the cold and dark contributing to the atmosphere of oppression and neglect. Hardy in particular likes to use witness's accounts to write a mystery story about death whilst Dickens used greed and dislike as a reason to kill a young boy. Wells used strong imagery technique to create horrific scene and suspense. I think that all three stories are able to portray the feeling of the extraordinary, fear and terror. Owen Taylor M9 Generations ...read more.

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