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How does H.G. Wells create a range of emotional responses in the reader in 'The Stolen Bacillus'

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Introduction

How does H.G. Wells create a range of emotional responses in the reader in 'The Stolen Bacillus' In 'The Stolen Bacillus', H.G. Wells creates a range of emotional responses in the reader in a number of ways. The story of the 'Stolen Bacillus' is one of surprise with a twist in the end of the tale. The reader is shocked at the 'morbid pleasure' the anarchist takes when he is first shown the cholera bacteria as they expect any normal person to be frightened or disgusted by the fatal disease. However, by far the greatest surprise in the story is the revelation that the bacteria were not cholera but a harmless disease known to turn people blue. The Bacteriologist had chased the Anarchist all over London and had seemed so anxious to retrieve the bacteria that the reader is shocked that he would go through so much trouble to get it back. Up until this point in the story the reader is still convinced that the glass tube contains cholera, however, when H.G. ...read more.

Middle

This gives the reader the impression of arrogance and confidence. The Anarchist feels confident, as he has just infected himself with 'cholera' and is walking into the crowd in order to spread the disease. However, it later becomes apparent that the disease was not cholera and it is therefore ironic, as the Anarchist has no reason to be arrogant. In the same way, the sentence 'the sense of imminent death gave him a certain dignity' is also ironic as the Anarchist is not going to die and will therefore appear foolish. Finally, in the last paragraph of the story, the author uses traditional humour to demonstrate the importance of appearance to the Bacteriologists wife. After chasing her husband through London with his hat and coat, Minnie insists that the Bacteriologist must wear his coat in order to please Mrs Jabber, however her husband replies 'My dear, Mrs Jabber is not a draught'. The writer also uses tension to make the reader feel more emotionally connected. The author keeps the reader in the dark about the harmless bacteria in order to create tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

After tension had been built up leading up to this moment, the reader feels extreme relief when they realize that the population of London is not in danger, 'like a fool, I said it was Asiatic cholera'. During the story, the reader also feels relief for one of the characters. When the reader realises that the bacteria is harmless, they feel relieved for the Bacteriologist. If the disease had been cholera, the Bacteriologist would have been blamed for the deaths of thousands of people, due to allowing the Anarchist to steal the test tube. Making the reader feel relieved for the Bacteriologist, allows the reader to feel closer to the characters and therefore creating emotional responses. Finally, the author uses pity to make the reader feel emotionally connected to the characters. The reader is made to feel sorry for the Bacteriologist's wife, Minnie. When her husband runs out of the house, chasing the Anarchist, Minnie is left thinking that he has gone mad. We also feel sorry for the Anarchist as he fails to complete his mission of infecting London with cholera. The reader feels emotionally connected to the Anarchist after reading about his chase through London, and therefore does not like to see the Anarchist fail. ...read more.

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