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How is suspense and tension created in The Monkey(TM)s Paw and The Red Room

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Introduction

How is suspense and tension created in The Monkey's Paw and The Red Room I am going be analysing a collection of short stories which include The Monkey's Paw by W.W Jacobs and The Red Room by H.G Wells which both belong to the Victorian horror genre. The Monkey's Paw and the Red Room are example of short stories which create suspense and tension successfully. The Red Room centers around an unnamed man who chooses to spend the night in the remote Lorraine Castle. He spends the night in the 'Red Room' after being warned the room is haunted in order to disprove the legends that surround it. However once in the room he starts to doubt his belief that the 'supernatural' is just a myth. The Monkey's Paw is about a family living in an isolated area. In the story, the paw of a dead monkey, given to them by an old friend, is a talisman that grants its possessor three wishes, but the wishes come with a consequence. W.W. Jacobs and H.G. Wells use many different techniques to build tension and suspense. One way this is done by is by the description of the setting. For example in The Monkey's Paw, Mr. White describes the area as "beastly, slushy, and out of the way". This builds tension in the story because it shows that they are far away from help. Also further tension is built when the night is described to be "cold and wet". ...read more.

Middle

They describe the passage to the red room which therefore builds the tension and suspense of the journey. There are many similarities between the stories as both writers use characters attitude to create tension and suspense. The cockiness of the young man when he says "if you will show me to this haunted room of yours, I will relieve you from the task of entertaining me", is comparable to Herbert in the Monkey's Paw when he says "ill expect you'll find the cash tied in a big bag in the middle of your bed". They both do not believe in the 'supernatural' and they both make jokes about it. However the difference between the two stories are that the characters are described to be grotesque in the Red Room and in the Monkey's Paw the characters are described as a typical family. Also the writers both use different techniques to build tension and suspense for example Wells uses sensory language whereas Jacobs uses emotive language. Wells uses sensory language to create an atmosphere. The sensory language takes the reader close to the main character's reactions and state of mind, which increases the tension. "I bruised myself on my thigh" this tells you what he is feeling and where he is feeling it. This brings us closer to what the character is feeling and thus builds the tension. The conflict between the young and old also builds tension because the young man does not believe in the supernatural " eight and twenty years I have live and never a ...read more.

Conclusion

Also the contrast of the story helps to create tension because at the beginning he does not believe in ghost and makes jokes about it. "I can assure you it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me", to "I flung out my arms in a vain effort to thrust that ponderous blackness away". This builds tension because the reader sees the difference in the character at the beginning and the end. Overall I think that both writers create suspense and tension extremely successfully. However, I think that Wells does this more successfully. This is due to his successful use of language which brings us closer to the character's physical state "I bruised myself on my thigh" and his mental state "There is to my mind something inhuman in senility, something crouching and atavistic". The build up to the room creates immense tension and suspense as well as the history of the castle. Wells uses the setting better than Jacobs to create suspense. However Jacob's ending leaves more questions unanswered than the Red Room. This is because in the Red Room the main question is answered and that is, was the room haunted? And the unnamed man answers the question. No. Whereas in the Monkey's Paw many questions are left unanswered like did Herbert come back? What did Mr White wish for? And what happened to the Monkey's Paw after? So whist reading the Red Room creates more suspense and tension, but after reading both stories the Monkey's Paw leaves more questions unanswered, and therefore leaves the flavour of tension and suspense. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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