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How suspense and tension is created in stories from the Victorian era

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Introduction

Louis Mesure 10D English Coursework Fiction Mr.Tan How suspense and tension is created in stories from the Victorian era In this essay I will explore and explain how the atmosphere of tension and suspense is built up in short stories in the Victorian period. I will show how various techniques build the overall effect. I will do this by comparing and contrasting three short stories, "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and "The Red Room" by H. G. Wells. These stories are similar in many ways and all consist of mysterious irrational plots. The Victorians were concerned with the idea of rationality, science over religion, and this is reflected in these stories To begin with I will look at the characters in the stories. Characters can help reflect the atmosphere of a story, an example of this is the old people in "The Red Room". ...read more.

Middle

The way the text has been written also reflects the character as he repeats words and puts some in capital. In these stories there seems to always be a character that represents the rational and logical, in contrast to the irrational. An example of this is the narrator in "The Red Room". He enters the mysterious house with a logical and scientific approach. He completely denies the possibilities of the super natural and heads to the haunted room completely calm expecting nothing out of the ordinary. However, he falls victim to the super natural spirits of the Red Room and fear overwhelms him. He is forced to believe that there is something unnatural in this room. This style of character is also portrayed in "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" as Inspector Holmes. He enters the crime scene with a rational approach. ...read more.

Conclusion

This reflects Sherlock Holmes' character that looks at everything in detail. In "The Tell Tale Heart" and "The Red Room" the use of short sentences is used to build great tension and suspense. E.g. "I felt that I must scream or die! And now --again! --hark! Louder! Louder! Louder! Louder!" Another technique is the use of repetition. In "The Red Room", the word "dark" is repeated a lot and so is the warning "This night of all nights". This helps get the idea across by constantly hitting the reader with this information. This is also used in "The Tell Tale Heart" as a way of expressing the narrator's madness. In "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" the idea of murder is repeated. There is a wide use of similes and metaphors of darkness and fear in the stories. These can help describe the mood of the story. An example of this is in "like a ragged storm cloud sweeping out the stars" in "The Red Room". Personification is also used as a good technique of description. ...read more.

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