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

In what ways could “The Red Room” and “The Old Nurses Story” be described as typical of the gothic tradition?

Extracts from this document...


In what ways could "The Red Room" and "The Old Nurses Story" be described as typical of the gothic tradition? You may refer to background reading To support your answer During the nineteenth century short stories written in the gothic tradition became extremely popular. The stories of vengeance, trickery, imprisonment and fear were conceived during the gothic era and are still read today with the power to enthral and chill their audience one hundred years on. All gothic stories are recognisable for they all incorporate numerous elements that are unique to the gothic tradition. Gothic novels rely on the atmosphere and setting to convey to the reader the tension between characters like in "The Old Nurses Story". The people were forbidden to talk about the organ and the being that played the disturbing melodies at night and during storms. The setting and the isolation of Furnivall manor enhanced the atmosphere and was created by Elizabeth Gaskell to make clear to her reader how defenceless and vulnerable the characters were if something were to go wrong. This is a brief description of how the atmosphere and setting is used in gothic novels and I will emphasise later on how Elizabeth Gaskell and H.G. ...read more.


Again Elizabeth Gaskell described the nurse's journey thoroughly describing every aspect. "We had left all signs of a town, or even a village, and were then inside the gates of a large wildlife park- with rocks, and the noise of running water, gnarled thorn-trees, old oaks all white and peeled with age." In the stories I have read I have noticed that the action usually takes place in and around an old castle or building, sometimes seemingly abandoned, sometimes occupied. The building is usually of large scale and contains secret passages, trap doors, secret rooms, dark or hidden staircases and possibly ruined sections. The castle may be near or connected to mountains, hills or caves, which lend their own haunting flavour with their vastness, claustrophobia and the unknown such as the mystery of the moors and hills in "The Old Nurses Story". The atmosphere of mystery and suspense is usually present in a gothic story; often the plot itself is based around mystery like "The Old Nurses Story" when the east wing is strictly out of bounds and when the picture of Miss Grace was mysteriously turned around as if to hide it. ...read more.


Edgar Allan Poe writes a lot like Bram Stoker, he may even have influenced Stoker's work. Stoker uses gothic imagery and bizarre characters in his various journals to add to the feeling of horror naturally inherent in a story about blood sucking vampires. The use of dark imagery, and brutal language adds to the gothic scenery. It is easy to see why Bram stoker's novel is the most widely read and most well known gothic novel of all time. Stoker's language is not as gothic as Edgar Allan Poe's because I found it easier to understand, and more straightforward. "The Old Nurses Story" also contains a sense of brutal imagery with the spectre child's gruesome end. The last pages were critical they drew together the deep and complex storyline making everything understandable. The "broad and mysterious light" was the phantom organ player, who murdered Miss Graces child, resulting in her leaving the manor all those years ago and trekking up the snowy fells to the holly bush which would be her final resting place. I personally thought the last pages of "The Old Nurses Story" were very good and provided a gruesome ending to a brilliant gothic novel. ...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 Bram Stoker 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 Bram Stoker essays

  1. Gothic Horror Stories

    done wrong, this builds up tension because the reader' wants to know if he tells the truth or not. The fear is a typical theme determinant but guilt really isn't a characteristic for themes in a gothic horror story. 'The Signalman' has fear, mystery and premonition.

  2. What boudaries does the vampire threaten? Discuss possible answers to this question with ...

    440); and also in Browning's version of Dracula, no dinner is served once Harker arrives, as "Dracula avoids the indignity of cooking for his guest and the awkwardness of watching him eat" (Auerbach, p. 157). The importance of blood also shows Dracula as nobility.


    queer words, for there were many nationalities in the crowd; so I quietly got my polyglot dictionary from my bag and looked them out. I must say they were not cheering to me, for amongst them were 'Ordog'--Satan, 'pokol'-hell, 'stregoica'-witch, 'Vrlok' and 'vlkoslak'-both of which mean the same thing that is either were-wolf or vampire.'

  2. Discuss possible answers to this question with reference to at least two critical or ...

    He laughed till he cried and I had to draw down the blinds lest anyone should see us and misjudge; and he then cried until he laughed again; and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does (Stoker, pp.

  1. How does Bram Stoker use Gothic conventions to create an atmosphere of suspense and ...

    another phrase, which creates suspense for the reader and shoes just how weird Dracula is and once again it gets the readers thinking just what Dracula is. As we know everything and anything can throw a shadow as long as it is solid. The laws of physics tell us that.

  2. "The Gothic is concerned primarily with representing transgression and taboo, there is nothing more ...

    which Mary had no wish to ally herself to, a kind which produced Robespierre and resurrected the guillotine, which smashes machines and scoffs at monarchy. Whether this is true or not the monster is certainly a victim of injustice. He was born innocent in accordance with the principle of the tabula rasa (blank slate)

  1. Man, Spirit or a Devil - vampires.

    C. Baker VAMPIRES The Original Vampire contd Vampires were feared creatures, because they killed people but at the same time looked like people; the only differences were that they didn't have a shadow. Nor did they reflect in the mirror. They could change their shape into a bat, which made them impossible to catch.

  2. How Stoker, Poe, Wells and Conan Doyle Have tried to make their stories Horrifying

    breed" This shows the supernatural side of the story and portrays that the Squaw might have been reincarnated as a cat. Stoker's characters have no psychological uncertainties. Elias.P.Hutcheson is a very arrogant character and when he kills the cat's kitten the cat wants revenge fuelled by the hatred for Hutcheson.

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