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" How effective is the setting in creating tension and suspense in Stevenson's works?"

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Introduction

" How effective is the setting in creating tension and suspense in Stevenson's works?" Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella about a scientist who experiments with the morals of good and evil. He then decides to try to separate these elements and difficulties arise with this. This novella concerns how one individual has conflicting emotions that are both good and evil. Dr Jekyll tries to make one-person 'wholly' good and another 'wholly' evil, but his experiments become quite dangerous. 'The Body Snatcher' is about two old friends, Fettes and Doctor Macfarlane, who studied under someone who was a famous, but unorthodox, anatomist. They would collect bodies for this person but they soon regret collecting one body. The confession of William Burke, murderer and procurer of corpses, inspired this short story. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is set in Soho, London, which is famous for being the 'seedier' side of London in the nineteenth century. At this time there was a great divide between the poverty-stricken and the rich. Even in the daytime, London was very dark due to the industrial London smog, and this adds to the atmosphere of fear, creating tension to make the reader feel uneasy. Stevenson presents the atmosphere of chill and darkness, therefore making the reader have a sense of foreboding about coming events. ...read more.

Middle

Hyde, and then unfortunately, something else happens which leaves the reader wondering about the question. Stevenson creates tension and suspense in this way, by building up a climax and then leaving the readers' imaginations on a cliff-hanger as he does not always finish what he started to do, in his questioning technique. If all the little and finer points are mentioned, it creates tension and suspense throughout the story, because as the reader reads more and more there will be more queries for the reader to want to find out. Some of these chapters may not have very effective settings, as it may be a light day, and there are plenty of people around the street " Mr Utterson would haunt the door when business plenty and time scarce", this quote is describing that it is very busy, so the reader feels secure. I do not think that this setting however would create as much tension because it is in the middle of the day and there would be many people about and nothing ghastly would happen to Mr Utterson. It then also mentions "time scarce", which may mean that there is some sort of a time limit, for Mr. Utterson. Stevenson could be leading the reader into a false sense of security which means that Utterson may not actually be very safe. ...read more.

Conclusion

These are all ways and techniques that Stevenson has used, in these books, to create tension and suspense. In my opinion, I think that Stevenson creates a tremendous amount of suspense and tension in his works, and that when he does use the different types of technique in his writing, it is very effective. Stevenson can describe the characters either really well, with a lot of detail so that he can really make the reader feel, as if they could be there, or he will not describe the certain character as well, therefore there is always something about that person that the reader wants to find out. This technique is very effective in creating, tension and suspense. I found it had greater suspense, especially at the beginning, with Fettes and Macfarlane arguing over something that people do not know about; their secret past lives that we have yet to find out about. I think that the reader would appreciate his works because they are so full of tension and suspense, and he sets the scene very effectively, the atmosphere is dark and gloomy, the stories take place in areas people often avoid, such as dark alleys and graveyards. The characters in the stories are often threatening, sinister and menacing. Yet the reader feels the need to find out what happens next. Stevenson creates great tension and suspense in his writing. ...read more.

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