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How do the authors's create a feeling of suspense and tension in "Jane Eyre" and "Rebecca" throughout the relevant chapters?

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Introduction

How do the authors's create a feeling of suspense and tension in "Jane Eyre" and "Rebecca" throughout the relevant chapters? Jane Eyre and Rebecca share many qualities despite being written over a century apart. They are both novels of romantic suspense although Jane Eyre has an element of Gothic Horror that Rebecca does not. Rebecca is the story of a young girl who marries the distinguished Maxim de winter. A widow haunted by his dead wife's memory. A secret lies beneath the surface of his home, the beautiful Manderley. She is originally companioning a woman many years her senior who is constantly putting her down. She meets the glamorous Mr. De winter while on her travels. Jane Eyre is the story of a girl orphaned at a young age. She becomes the governess for Mr.Rochester of Thornfield hall and falls in love with him only to unveil his terrible secret that ruins the lives of everyone in the house. Both women are in similar situations as they are both vulnerable young women who are involved with, almost rescued, by men above their station and are haunted by their former wives. They are very different in character although in similar situations. Jane Eyre is stubborn and hardened by her harsh childhood. Whereas the heroine in Rebecca is a very vulnerable low status character with no confidence and a habit of daydreaming and is hugely paranoid. Both stories are of girls from broken childhoods finding their place in life with the men they love after struggling through their terrible pasts. ...read more.

Middle

What task he could possibly want her to do after the horror that has taken place that night. The concealed door adds to the mystery of what is hidden in Thornfield, and behind it the voice of Grace Poole. This makes you very suspicious of her and adds to the fear you feel later when Jane is locked in this apartment. There is contrast again with the shocking red blood and white sheets. Jane is ordered not to speak to Mason, the injured man, and he to her "you will not speak to him on any pretext-and-Richard, it will be at the peril of your life if you speak to her" this insinuates that there are secrets that Mason holds that could easily be exposed. Bronte uses onomatopoeia to describe the feeling inside of Jane as well as the sound of the key and Rochester locks her inside the room with the injured Mason and a servant who we presume to be a violent maniac "key grating". She is then left alone with her thoughts for a long time. As the story goes on Charlotte Bronte manages to convey a very convincing feeling of gothic horror to the reader. She uses a very fast pace in certain places, short phrases and a lot of exclamations keeping your mind racing. This generates the panic and confusion that formulates the horror in our minds in this chapter. Rebecca has a different sense of fear. ...read more.

Conclusion

She makes it seem like a terrifying theme park ride "I gripped the leather seat of the car with my two hands" forever anticipating the arrival of the house "it must be this turn I thought, or round that further bend". Rebecca, in contrast to Jane Eyre is a severely fearful person who is constantly and obsessively fabricating elaborate daydreams, some of how wonderful her life will be at Manderley and others of the terrible things that may happen. Her fear is of what she will confront when she reaches Manderley, of the legend that is her husband's first wife and how she will live up to it. You are reminded of the opening of the book and the strange distorted Manderley that the heroine finds in her dream. It is a broken ghostly place, still alive in the same way that she sees it now but corrupted and spoiled, hardly recognisable as the beautiful perfectly nurtured citadel that it once was. You are very aware of what is to happen as you drive up to the house with them. This adds to the trepidation that you feel throughout the next few chapters as it is a memory of what will soon be lurking in the back of your mind. Her new husband is totally unaware of his wifes feelings as they approach the house, which estranges her more and increases her fearfulness. She calms herself somewhat by imagining the new life that is ahead of her, of how happy she will be. Maya de Paula Hanika 11S English Coursework ...read more.

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