• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How is tension and suspense built up and maintained in at least two Gothic horror stories?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How is tension and suspense built up and maintained in at least two Gothic horror stories? The genre of Gothic Horror was developed during 19th and early 20th century and had a popular appeal to the new middle class people who sought entertainment. Gothic Horror has common characteristics of suspense, fear and would often include a rational, scientifically minded character who fails to heed warnings. Gothic horror tales often have exotic and mythical influences. The night and the unreassuring lack of light play a big part in adding to the hellish imagery. One of the key ways that tension is built up in gothic horror stories is through the setting, For example, "The Red Room" is set is an old dark castle. It is quite remote. Tension is built up with the portrayal of the "long draughty subterranean passage" which eventually leads to "that large sombre room"; the effect of such a setting is to give a feeling of impending doom. ...read more.

Middle

Like "The Red Room" the story is told in the first person. However, the protagonist in "The Red Room" is logical and rational, yet na�ve: "I can assure you... it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me". The narrator of "The Telltale Heart" sets up the tension in the opening line, "rue! Nervous, very, very dreadful..." Odd characters such as this narrator help build up suspense and are very often used in gothic horror. "The Monkey's Paw" uses the same device. The Sergeant Major is very odd, he has just returned from India with an old Monkey's paw. He is described as "beady of eye", giving him a bird like quality. The old people in "The Red Room" create an uneasy atmosphere: "I must confess that the oddness of these old pensioners affected me in spite of my efforts to keep myself". "The nameless "man with the withered arm" adds a sinister touch by his repetition of the phrase "it's your choosing". ...read more.

Conclusion

The tension builds but then is eased by the moonlight and candle revealing the true nature of each object. Light or lack of it, also helps build tension in the gothic horror genre. There will rarely be day light in any gothic horror story. In "The Monkey's Paw" "the wintry sun" in the morning encouraged Mr White to "laugh at his fears." .This also gives the reader a false sense of security, whilst keeping them in suspense. "I opened my eyes in day light" brings relief to the inceasing tension of the night spent in the red room yet we are warned that fear can be felt "even in day time" Minimal light is used to a sinister effect, in "The Telltale Heart" a single thin ray, fell upon the vulture eye." This is a strong image as we are told the room was "black as pitch", thus the strand of light dircted by the murderer is all the more vivid. The ray of light is also described as "like the thread of the spider". This image is appropriate since the light is shone its victim. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE H.G. Wells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE H.G. Wells essays

  1. 19th Century Victorian Horror Stories: English Literature Coursework: How 19th Century writers of horror ...

    there, he doesn't believe in ghosts or spirits and is determined to find another explanation. He begins to talk to himself, both aloud and in his own head, and convinces himself that if a ghost isn't tangible it cannot hurt him or scare him.

  2. English Coursework on Comparing Two Horror Short Stories : The Monkey's Paw and The ...

    with longer sentences you can keep the readers attention for longer periods of time. The ending of 'The Red Room' is similar to 'The Monkey's Paw' because it leaves the reader imagining. Language The language in 'The Monkey's Paw' is old fashioned and very unusual e.g.

  1. The two short stories,” The Red Room,” and,”The Phantom coach,” create an atmosphere and ...

    In both of the stories all of the above are used making them excellent plots. The "Red Room" plot is mainly about a confident man that decides to go and investigate a so-called haunted room, but encounters some strange events while in the room.

  2. How tension Is built Up in short stories

    Once the man with the withered arm is introduced The most similar method used is the isolated atmosphere. Used in short stories in this age. alongside the majority of Gothic short stories the stories are set in an unknown location to the protagonist (therefore the reader).

  1. 'THE MONKEY'S PAW' AND 'THE RED ROOM'

    This is because he knew that if the door was opened then whatever is opened then it will come in or they will see it. While he is searching for the paw Mrs White pulls the bolt back slowly: "....creaking of the bolt as it came slowly back,..."

  2. Gothic Horror

    This phrase gives the reader a spooky, and suspense feeling; yet the setting then moves from describing the outside, and into the welcoming warmth, and protection of the White family's house, where the ' blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly'.

  1. In the three Gothic Horror stories studied, how does each writer's description of the ...

    seven stages of man or the creation of the world which happened in seven days. Poe may have used this number to bring all these relevant effects into mind as the reader is reading about the rooms. Its is even more relevant when at the end Prince Prospero dies is

  2. Original Writing - The insatiable hunger ravaged Velkan from within; it burned within his ...

    all the scenery, however, the prey, though now further away, became clear. Its body was a mass of swirling colour, ranging from deep rich red hues to ice blue in the extremities. However, it was the heart that was most alluring to the creature, it was a pinkish fruit lodged

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work