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How has suspense and supernatural been presented in The Red Room. The Signalman and Tell Tale Heart.

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Introduction

How has suspense and supernatural been presented in The Red Room. The Signalman and Tell Tale Heart. The first Gothic novel written was The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole; in 1764 and since then nearly every single gothic horror novel has had the same conventions, such as cliff-hangers, tension, figurative language and pleasing fear. Thanks to these, the genre is so popular and still is, in this essay I will be studying 3 short gothic horror novels, their names are the Red Room By H.G Wells (RR)-the tale of a arrogant young man who spends a night in a haunted room , The Signalman by Charles Dickens (TSM)- the title tells the narrator of a ghost that has been haunting him. Each spectral appearance precedes, and is a sign of things to come of, a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works. Three times, he receives phantom warnings of danger when his bell rings in a fashion that only he can hear. Each warning is followed by the appearance of the spectre, and then by a terrible accident. and Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe (TTH).- It follows an unnamed narrator who insists on his sanity after murdering an old man with a "vulture eye". The murder is carefully calculated, and the murderer hides the body by cutting it into pieces and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately the narrator's guilt manifests itself in the hallucination that the man's heart is still beating under the floorboards. ...read more.

Middle

And I stood up before the fire with my glass in my hand." Another thing that RR TTH and TSM have in common is that they all have tension build up in their stories .There are many different ways in which the narrator builds up tension and suspense in 'The Red Room'. One way in which he does this is through the use of language. One of the main effective uses of language in 'The Red Room' is the use of personification; "Made the shadows cower and quiver". The shadow embeds fear into the reader, as they wonder if the shadow is alive, which creates tension as the reader wonders what will happen next. Furthermore, the fact that the phrase makes it seem that the shadows are scared of something and the reader would normally associate shadows with blackness and fear, makes the reader feel anxious and heightens tension. Another way in which the narrator creates tension and suspense is by withholding information. Immediately, we can see that the story begins mid-scene which creates suspense as it is unclear and leaves the reader wanting to find out more; "I can assure you,". We can also see this in the ending of the story. The ending of this story is an setback as it does not provide all of the answers that are put in the readers mind throughout the story, which leaves the ending of the story open to guesswork. ...read more.

Conclusion

"I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at midnight, but I found the eye always closed, and so it was impossible to do the work, for it was not the old man who vexed me but his Evil Eye." As you have seen in this essay there are many attributes that have enhanced the supernatural in these stories: such as repetition, of which gives the story a fast pace and in some cases to help the reader understand the narrators strife. Another is Tension build up which is created through the use of personification for example: "Made the shadows cower and quiver". The shadow embeds fear into the reader, as they wonder if the shadow is alive, which creates tension as the reader wonders what will happen next. Furthermore, the fact that the phrase makes it seem that the shadows are scared of something and the reader would normally associate shadows with blackness and fear, makes the reader feel anxious and heightens tension. Another method of tension build up is by withholding information. We can see that some stories begin mid-scene which creates suspense as it is unclear and leaves the reader wanting to find out more. Lastly Writers use literal language in a spooky manner .The writers also match the setting and the background to the story, to give it a spooky feel ,writers use unearthly settings. Furthermore, in gothic horror stories, writers describe the narrators senses (sight/ smell/ touch / sound ) to emphasise the atmosphere. ...read more.

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