• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Do Pre 1914Writers Create Mystery And Suspense In Their Short Stories?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Do Pre 1914 Writers Create Mystery And Suspense In Their Short Stories? Common themes in the stories of the nineteenth century are horror, mystery and the unexplained. This is because in the Victorian times, people were concerned with problems such as superstition and witchcraft. Common features of Victorian short stories are paranoid characters. The stories 'The Withered Arm', 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman' teach a modern audience the results and consequences of superstition and paranoia. The Withered Arm was written by Thomas Hardy. It is about a woman who is trying to bring up her illegitimate son while she tries to overcome her jealousy as her sons father brings home his new beautiful wife. The main message that Thomas Hardy is trying to get across to the reader is that you should be careful what you wish for as it may come true. Also that what goes around comes around. The main character in this story is Rhoda Brook, the mother of farmer Lodges son. In the story she is described as 'a thin fading woman of thirty' this shows that she is slowly wasting away. Rhoda Brooks is a mysterious character because the reader doesn't know whether Rhoda is a witch or not, Thomas Hardy doesn't reveal this fact because it makes the story mysterious and leaves the reader wondering. ...read more.

Middle

I think that the type of narration that is the most effective is the stories written in the first person, which is used in The Signalman. This is because it makes the reader feel more involved in the story. The purpose of the narrator is to tell the story from their point of view and their perspective. The narrator introduces the reader to the other characters in the story. In The Withered Arm there are many other characters apart from Rhoda Brook. For example there is Farmer Lodge, conjuror Trendle, Rhoda's son, milking maids and Gertrude. At the start of the story Gertrude is described as 'a rosy-cheecked-titsy-totsy little body enough' this shows that she is bouncy, lively, skinny and perfect. She is also described as 'A lady complete.' This shows that she is every thing a lady should be. However towards the end of the story she is described as 'longed for the death of a fellow creature.' This shows the reader that she has turned into a creature longing for the death of someone. Gertrude's character changes dramatically from the start to the end. At the beginning she is bouncy, friendly and perfect, however at the end she becomes irritable, superstitious and desperate for her looks so that she can win back her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was made through a clammy stone, that became oozier and wetter as I went down.' This shows that it was a wet but clammy time of year probably spring which gives the idea of new begging's. Nothing more is described about the setting. Techniques that are used to increase the reader's sense of suspense are pathetic fallacy, personification and excess punctuation. The story that has the most mysterious setting is in The Withered Arm. This is because it has examples of personification, pathetic fallacy and has more descriptions in it. Also because it enables the reader to visualise the settings better. I think that the setting in The Signalman represent loneliness. The setting in The Red Room represents paranoia and terror and the setting in The Withered Arm represent fear and superstition. Therefore, Victorian writers successfully created mysterious short stories through using chapters, less characters and detailed setting. The most effective story is The Withered Arm this is because it has the most imaginative and interesting story line. Also because Thomas Hardy doesn't reveal everything to the reader as it lets them debate over whether Rhoda is a witch or not. It shows a modern audience the effects and consequences of superstition. The moral or message of the story may have been be careful what you wish for as it may come true. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1Lauren O'loghlen ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Signalman section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Signalman essays

  1. Compare the ways in which Charles Dickens and H.G Wells convey an air of ...

    Their imagination is then used and this enables the story to convey an air of mystery and suspense as the reader is further made to wonder. Language and imagery also form a critical part in both "The Signalman" and "The Red Room" in forming an air of mystery and suspense throughout the short stories.

  2. "In his short story 'The Signalman' by what means does the author Charles Dickens ...

    The irony leaves the reader shaken. The one time the signalman chooses to ignore the voice was the one time he should have. The calm scientific reasoning of the author was wrong whilst the hysterical ramblings of the signalman were surprisingly correct.

  1. 'Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in ''The Signalman'', ...

    ''The Man with the Twisted Lip'' written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is set mainly in the east end streets of Victorian London (but does move to Kent). After examining the setting I believe it is the best described out of the other three stories through the use of evocative, intense descriptions and images which work well with the atmosphere.

  2. Compare the two short stories, 'The Signalman' by Dickens and 'The Withered Arm by ...

    It is described as a "depressing" and "dismal place". The area is described as dangerous; "A rough zigzag descending path"..."cutting was extremely deep and unusually precipitous." This is describing how steep the descent is. It shows us the idea of leaving the natural world above. The narrator gives as an insight to the area; "I stood on top of

  1. Explore how effectively the writers create a sense of mystery using a selection of ...

    instant visualisation can be produced in your head, and from there, a better understanding of how the story works. It is hard to really pinpoint why certain settings make it scarier for humans. Maybe it is the isolation. The fact that you're so far away from everybody else, means you

  2. Compare and Contrast "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Withered Arm" by Thomas ...

    So understandably the prospect of a little conversation with the narrator is not turned down. It is at this point in the story that the supernatural elements are first revealed, and not directly through the narrator. Dickens uses a sophisticated method to reveal the mystery elements.

  1. Short, entertaining stories were extremely popular within the Victorian era, and a number of ...

    This sentence is very short, in a paragraph on its own in order to make it sound very sharp and short and startling, like the 'loud bang' itself. This too is used to affect the reader, which increases the suspense as they have to read on to find out what the noise is.

  2. Discuss the ways in which Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and HG Wells create tension ...

    The Signalman, is described by the Narrator as "a dark sallow man, with a dark beard and rather heavy eyebrows" Here, we see that the Signalman is not in the best of health, and may well be badly malnourished, this again adds tension, as the reader does not know the reason for this.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work