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How do WW Jacobs and HG Wells build up an atmosphere of mystery and suspense in The Monkeys Paw and The Red Room?

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Introduction

How do WW Jacobs and HG Wells build up an atmosphere of mystery and suspense in "The Monkeys Paw" and "The Red Room"? Both stories are set in the Victorian era. Both stories are also set in the 18th century. We can tell they are from this genre by when in the "Red Room" they say " Eight-and-Twenty years". We can tell this is old because nowadays we would say twenty-eight years. In the Victorian era people were very interested in the supernatural. They were also fascinated by myths and majic. People were very superstitious and curious with unusual happenings. This comes across a lot in the stories. Especially when in "The Red Room" the old people are so enthralled with the ghost it becomes part of their everyday life. Gothic horror was the most favoured genre of book reading in this era. Victorians were very interested in the spiritual rituals and superstitious happenings that these books had to offer. These books gave them an insight into gothic tales and treacheries. ...read more.

Middle

This makes us feel relaxed with the story. But also we wonder what could happen to make this happy scene turn sour, as we know it's a horror story. But on the other hand the stories are very different in their structure. For instance in "The Red Room" it starts building up the tension straight away. With the old people the old people warning the young man not to enter the red room. We are therefore already aware of where the danger lies and what the main storyline is about. In "The Monkeys Paw" the author builds up the tension slowly. So unlike in "The Red Room" we have to wait to find out the plot. I think this is a good method as the reader becomes hooked, wanting to know what happens. But the other method is good to because you wonder if the red room is entered by the young man and what is so dangerous about it. The development in "The Red Room" makes tension and atmosphere build up. ...read more.

Conclusion

Especially when it says " un-wholesome thing", it makes it sound as if it isn't all there, its incomplete. Also when it says "brow cold with sweat" this shows his emotion, and makes us think what will be the consequence of his actions. The resolution is the ending to the story. In "The Monkeys Paw" it leaves us on a cliffhanger. It does this by not telling us what the third wish was. But it leaves us enough information to keep guessing. We know that he does something to cancel the second wish, but we don't quite know what. This adds in the mystery element. In "The Red Room" the young man awakens surrounded by the old people. But what he experienced in the room didn't match up to what the old people said. Because they thought it was a ghost in the room. But the young man says it was fear. This is a very clever way to end the story, because it gives the story a moral. I think that "The Red Room" was the beat ending because it wasn't what we expected. Also it teaches us a valuable lesson and ties the story together very well. ...read more.

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