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Gothic Short Stories

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Introduction

Rio Small 10C2 English Mrs Fletcher Consider how the writers generate atmosphere and tension in a selection of Gothic Short Stories. In your answer, you should refer closely to the texts. I will be exploring the short stories, "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells, "The Monkey's Paw" be W.W. Jacobs and "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe. "The Monkey's Paw" is about a mysterious paw that grants wishes but with awful consequences and how it affects one family's lives. "The Masque of the Red Death" is about a horrific disease that kills almost instantly and about a prince who tries to prevent the disease from destroying him, "The Red Room" is about a mysterious room that is apparently haunted and it is an account of the protagonist and what happened to him when he ventured into "The Red Room". The introduction to "The Monkey's Paw" is already a bit of a dreary scene because the night is "cold" and "wet" but on the inside "the fire" is burning "brightly" to create a more warm atmosphere. The house is very isolated because "only two houses on the road are let". The family's relationship seems to be quite strong and father and son are quite competitive as they are "grimly surveying the board". As the father loses you can see the close bond between mother and son as you notice the "knowing glance" between them. ...read more.

Middle

This is very symbolic because the old couple seem to be very lifeless and despairing in "the hopeless resignation of the old". It is night and the wife is weeping and it wakes Mr White. He says in his kindest voice for her to come back to bed. Mrs White realises that the paw can help them. She starts saying "quietly", she doesn't want anyone else to hear even though only her husband and herself are in the house. Mrs White is in a state of total relief. She is "quivering with excitement", she wants her son back. "The Monkey's Paw" is now an "unwholesome thing". Mrs White demands her husband to wish, Mr White tries his best to reason but fails. They listen for a slight bit of noise which could be their resurrected son. "A stair creaked" and mouse went by. Mr White decides to light a candle downstairs and the candle is seen as light and hope and belief that maybe his son will come back fine or his son won't come back at all because of the way his so0n will look. A knock is heard, the tension begins, another knock was heard, Mrs white immediately suspects that it is Herbert. Mr White holds her arm tightly to stop her from opening the door. Mr White begs his wife to stop but with a "sudden wrench" she broke free but couldn't reach the bolt. ...read more.

Conclusion

Each hour is supposed to "stricken" the guests' brief and fleeting lives. Its also warns them of Death's final judgement. After that moment, they continue with their celebrations. The guests seem to model grotesque costumes, there is "glare and glitter and piquancy and phantasm". You eventually discover that the mysterious "guest" is even more bizarre than all the other guests. The guest appearing at midnight is symbolic because midnight is the end of a day and by comparison, the end of life. The figure of "Red Death" is "shrouded from head to foot in habiliments of the grave". His face is "besprinkled with the scarlet horror" as well as his entire outfit. When Prince Prospero spots the stranger, he is annoyed with the intrusion of his palace. The prince order's his "courtiers" to seize the intruder but they are too frightened to even touch the "Red Death". Vexed, the prince draws a dagger and chases the intrude through the six chambers. Once he approaches the figure, Prince Prospero's dagger drops and he falls to the black carpet dead. The other guests rush towards the intruder but to their "unutterable horror" thy find nothing behind the costume to which the intruder is wearing and they drop dead, one by one. The "Red Death", as it is stated, holds "illimitable dominion over all". In all three stories, Death and Fear seem to win but also there are no real characters in the stories. The story lies in the use of the theme - the inevitability of death - which brings the horror of the story. ...read more.

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