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How do W.W. Jacobs, H.G. Wells and Charles Dickens Create suspense in their Gothic Horror Stories?

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How do W.W. Jacobs, H.G. Wells and Charles Dickens Create suspense in their Gothic Horror Stories? In these gothic horror stories the authors create suspense two main ways. The first is that they use element of gothic horror in their stories and the second is how they use words and phrases to create tension. The first of these would include features such as darkness or isolation to unnerve the reader and create suspense. The use of darkness shows through all three stories but in different forms. In The Monkey's Paw W.W. Jacobs uses darkness to create unease by making Herbert return at night. This alone dose not create suspense but it makes the characters become frantic as Mrs. White tries to open the door but cannot as she cannot see and Mr. White is also frantically looking for The Monkey's Paw but cannot find it due to the darkness. In The Red Room H.G. Wells takes a different approach to the use of darkness by, not using darkness to make an event, such as the return of Herbert, seem more terrifying but instead uses darkness in such a way that it becomes the source of the horror itself. Charles Dickens also uses darkness in his story. When the Signal Man is telling the narrator of what is troubling him the reader is made more fearful as the explanation takes place at night when the hut is surrounded by darkness. ...read more.


In the same way all three authors use another element, isolation, to create tension in their stories. The first example of this comes at the start of The Monkey's Paw when Mr. White says 'the paths a bog and the roads a torrent.' This gives the reader the immediate impression that even if the family whished to escape from the house they would not be able to. In contrast the castle in which The Red Room is set is made out to be a long way from any civilization as it is in the middle of France which makes it see as if the narrator cannot run from the castle. There is a very different form of isolation in the Signal Man as he is isolated by being a long way from any town but mainly that he has been there for a very long time and has not had much human contact in that time. Furthermore to these features physical deformity is shown in all of the stories. W.W. Jacobs uses this by making the reader imagine a mutilated Herbert outside the door and in the same way Charles Dickens makes the reader imagine the remaining parts of the Signal Man when he says, 'his face is still composed.' This makes the reader speculate as to what the rest of the Signal Man's body is like if only his face is left. ...read more.


'Just an ordinary little paw dried like a mummy.' This is used by W.W. Jacobs when describing The Monkey's Paw this horrifies the reader by allowing them to imagine this grotesque object and tension is created. W.W. Jacobs gradually creates suspense by his use of words and repetition when he says 'a knock resounded through the house...a loud knock resounded through the house.' This use of words gradually builds the tension as the reader pictures Mr. and Mrs. White sitting in bed, in the dark which their undead son racking on their door. In addition H.G. Wells also creates suspense by his use of words and phrases through out The Red Room. This includes the way in which the old lady says '"this night of all nights."' This is repeated and the reader never finds out why she says this. This contributes to the tension created by this repetition and mystery. The male inhabitant of the castle is always referred to as 'the man with the withered arm.' This puts emphasis upon his deformity and creates anxiety each time this phrase is used. In conclusion there are many element of gothic horror which all of the writers use but some use in different ways. They also use the sounds of words repetition of words and words which can have an alternate meaning but all of these methods give the same effect which is to create suspense. Henry Abbot 10W ...read more.

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