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

How do writers of 19th century stories create tension and suspense

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English 11A How do writers of 19th century stories create tension and suspense? The writers in 19th century stories create tension and suspense through the use of gothic horror. This style of writing is designed to frighten and panic and cause dread and alarm. It innovates our hidden worst fears often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience. Horrors effectively centre on the dark side of life, the forbidden, and the strange and alarming events. It deals with the audience's most primal nature and its fears. This may include nightmares, vulnerability, alienation, revulsions, and terror of the unknown, fear of the death and dismemberment, loss of identity and fear of sexuality. Horrors can play on our physical fears, such as grotesque scenes and frightening characters, or our psychological fears, tapping into our dreams states and the horror of irrational and unknown, and the horror within man himself. There are many examples of gothic fiction, here are a few: The Red Room, The Monkey's Paw, The Signalman, Desiree's Baby, Clubfooted Grocer, these are the stories that I will be analysing. More horror stories include Frankenstein, Dracula and The Golem. The following essay will examine, how the writers of 19th century stories create tension and suspense through the use of the four main features, such as setting, character, hints and time delay. ...read more.

Middle

This is developed further by the simile, 'shadowed it like a pall' which the reader immediately associates with death, depression and despair. The description given for the nighttime in Clubfooted Grocer, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Monkey's Paw also links with The Red Room. 'It was quite dark outside, with heavy black clouds drifting slowly across the sky.' This is a use of pathetic fallacy, it is ominous, and it establishes that danger is coming. Another use of pathetic fallacy can be identified in The Monkey's Paw. 'Without, the night was cold and wet' This is typical of gothic horror. It proposes that something dreadful is going to happen. Both these stories can be linked with The Red Room 'Even with seven candles the place was merely dim.' This suggests that The Red Room is very dark, murky and gloomy. This creates tension and suspense amongst the reader. Now I have learned how the setting created tension and suspense next I will look at how the characters create tension and suspense. Most characters in these 19th century stories are often nameless. This can be observed in The Red Room and The Monkey's Paw. In The Red Room the reader immediately identifies that the characters are nameless. 'I can assure' This adds suspense and mystery because the reader was not able to know the character properly makes the reader feel what is it that these characters could be hiding and also the fact that the gender of these characters was not given also makes the reader wonder. ...read more.

Conclusion

This quote displays the narrator's uncertainty towards The Signalman's character and the fact that 'should' is a modal verb also expresses his doubtfulness. Now I have analysed how the hints created tension and suspense, next I will discuss how time delay has kept the reader engaged in the text. In the last paragraph of The Monkey's paw, the author uses various techniques such as the constant knocking. This repetition makes the reader tense. It reminds the reader that evil is behind that door as Herbert has returned and he is disfigured. Similarly in The Red Room the author holds back what is inside The Red Room until the last paragraph. The reader is tensed by the incomplete sentence. In Desiree's Baby, the author reveals the truth about Armand's background in the last paragraph. This makes the reader evaluate the whole story. Desiree's suffering and pain was all unnecessary. This ending comes as a shock to the reader and makes it an effective twist. In conclusion, the techniques that have been used to create tension and suspense are: setting, character, hints and time delay. All these four main features where really effective in creating tension and suspense as they all kept the reader engaged to the stories. Overall I think that the story that may have been the most successful in achieving this is Desiree's Baby. I think this because the ending of this story was a shock and surprise to the reader; moreover the reader felt sympathy for Desiree as she suffered needless pain from her husband. ...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 H.G. Wells 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 H.G. Wells essays

  1. Comparing Two Horror Short Stories - 'The Monkey's Paw' written by W. W. Jacobs ...

    The monkey's paw is very slowly introduced later in the story. Suspense is built up and released repeatedly through out this story. An example of this pattern of climax and anti-climax occurs early in the story. 'It's just an ordinary little paw dried to a little mummy,' says Sergeant Major Morris.

  2. Gothic Horror stories. The three stories are 'The Signalman' written by Charles Dickens in ...

    dripping-wet wall of jagged stone, excluding all view but a strip of sky, the perspective one way only crooked prolongation of this great dungeon, the shorter perspective in the other direction terminating in a gloomy red light, and the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel, in whose massive architecture there was barbarous, depressing and forbidding air."

  1. How the Author Creates Tension and Suspense in the Monkey's Paw

    The author also creates tension by having a good plot. The fact that the plot has peaks and valleys in tension is effective because the author manipulates the reader's emotions. By having three high tension points, the author makes sure that the reader is not prepared for what is going to happen.

  2. 19th Century Victorian Horror Stories: English Literature Coursework: How 19th Century writers of horror ...

    In Mrs White's eyes her request is very much normal, she doesn't believe that what she is doing is wrong or unreasonable. Mrs White doesn't stop to think about the consequences. The reader and Mr White know this wish is wrong, but Mrs White is so driven and determined at this point she wont listen to anybody.

  1. Comparing "The Monkey's Paw" and "The Red Room" In this essay, I am going ...

    It creates suspense because we imagine our selves in there and results in us feeling uncomfortable and insecure. The tension levels keep on rising steadily until the narrator reaches the red room and the candles starting to fade out: "...a little tongue of light...".

  2. How do writers of charity letters persuade us to support their charities?

    Individual projects and news through Children's friend Newsletter (sent twice yearly)..." and "...there is a dedicated section on our website just for supporters..." It is surprising that the British Red Cross does not offer any rewards. Instead, they tell us how our money will be spent - "A �15 gift

  1. Analyse those features of nineteenth century mystery stories which create interest and atmosphere and ...

    This extract is in contrast with the ironic situations frequently found within Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" series. "It's abduction, Watson, abduction! Murder! Heaven knows what!" This is very ironic as no person was abducted or murdered, but it was all a plan to host a wedding, which is considered a very joyous occasion.

  2. What is the effect of the juxtaposition of the ordinary and the extra-ordinary in ...

    The effect of the juxtaposition suggests to us that in fact the extraordinary is now ordinary and therefore not as exciting or terrifying as it should be. So, in retrospect, this surprises us even more when Wells suddenly makes the plot even more terrifying.

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