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

knowing and not knowing humour and iriony in H.G Wells' short stories

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Knowing, not knowing, humour and irony in H.G Wells' short stories by Zoe Harris 11E In this essay I will be writing about knowing and not knowing humor and irony in each of the short stories I have chosen. I have decided to write about The Red Room, The Stolen Bacillus and The Inexperienced Ghost. H.G Wells was a typical Victorian rich man. You can tell by the language he uses, as only people who were rich or from the middle and upper classes in those days could afford an education. The Red Room was written quite early in H.G Wells' career as a writer. You can tell this because of the simple structure of the story. In The Red Room the pattern of tension is a simple straight line and is never broken. Ghost stories were very popular in Victorian times and they loved anything with a ghostly theme, so this made up for the lack of tension. The simplicity of the tension also makes the story very foreseeable and predictable, so it is easy for the reader to know where the story is going. To make up for this, H.G Wells entertains the reader with something that people would might not have expected in a ghost story; humor and irony, which gives it a totally different dimension compared to other ghost stories. ...read more.

Middle

The Stolen Bacillus is a little bit more complex by comparison. H.G Wells uses the third person narrative in this story. There is no tension at the beginning of The Stolen Bacillus, but then it goes up and down through the story. It is very unpredictable compared with The Red Room which has a very steady pattern of tension. The tension goes highest at the point when the terrorist gets away and drinks the liquid. The visitor is presented as a stereotypical untrustworthy character, also everything he says points towards him being an Anarchist. He is a very sly, shifty character, "Pale man"...... "Limp white hands"......."Lank black hair and deep grey eyes." so by this description we get the impression there is something odd about him. The scientist can't tell what the stranger is thinking but the reader can; this adds humour throughout the story. Wells misleads the reader right at the beginning of this story by making the Bacteriologist pretend that he doesn't know the man is a terrorist. Wells makes us believe that we know more than the Bacteriologist, but the trick is we don't. He fools the reader and the terrorist by making them think it's cholera in the test tube, so when he tells us this, we believe it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also the way the ghost died is very humorous, as he died investigating a gas leak while he was holding a candle. Clayton mocks him because of this, and the reader knows this is a very silly thing to do. Wells shows Clayton's confidence because it makes the character more amusing, "I'm not joking. I mean what I say". He has no doubts, he keeps on smiling and this makes the reader's think they know what is going to happen. Even in the end he is still smiling which adds a further ironic element to the story. When they all find out about the hand symbols/gestures, different sides are taken; some believe and some don't. This is when the clock strikes midnight (so the atmosphere is set), Clayton was totally oblivious that he would drop down dead. To pass from the living world to the world of spirits you have to be a ghost, therefore you have to be dead. This makes it ironically humorous because you don't know how its going to end until you read the very last sentence. H.G Wells makes his stories different and more exciting by injecting humour and irony into them. That is why when you read his stories you get interested and hooked and want to read more. ...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. Comparing Two Horror Short Stories - 'The Monkey's Paw' written by W. W. Jacobs ...

    As the story is set in a castle, it's an excellent location for a horror story. The castle is a very spooky place as it is full of rooms, corridors and stairs. The author created suspense by writing, "A monstrous shadow of him crouched upon the wall mocked his action..."

  2. This war has taught us pity - pity for those witless souls that ...

    be contradictory to condemn the Martians for doing something that humans would most likely have done as well, had our technology permitted it. The War of the Worlds shows different aspects of human nature by explaining what would happen in a large crisis.

  1. The red room, the stollen bacillus and the inexperienced ghost

    Surreptitiously Wells using this play on words, it deliberately tricks the reader into thinking that we know what is happened until it is all discovered by given clues nearing the end. The use of humour in the cab chase, Wells changes from the formal English 'slender man, suddenly glancing around'

  2. How do the H G Wells Stories The Red Room, The Cone and the ...

    The author uses very expressive words in his writing and uses the adjective `tangible'; this means you can touch the ghost. You cannot touch ghosts and this is why the author uses the adjective, because the character believes ghosts are not real.

  1. ENGLISH COURSEWORK: Victorian Short Stories

    In the 'Black Cottage' by Wilkie Collins, the author places a very vulnerable character in a dangerous situation, first of all this is quite strange, as the main character is a female; this isn't typical of Victorian Short Stories. However what is typical of the genre is the fact that

  2. Examine how Elizabeth Gaskell and H.G Wells build up tension andconvey fear in two ...

    In contrast with the darkness the story ends in daylight-normality, away from the deep, dark, chilling passageways and the power of the darkness in the room, so therefore the ending is not gothic. The ending of the story has a slight twist.

  1. Short Story discussion of

    "His wife's face seemed to change as he entered the room. It was white and expectant, and to his fears seemed to have an unnatural look to upon it", his wife has now very high expectations of the paw unlike before, and she is almost infatuated over it, which brings out her fearful side which the old man fears most.

  2. Bradbury and Wells Both Try to Show 'Fear' in Their Story. How Do They ...

    family near by and there aren't any kids playing on the street and there also might be people running away from their problems and want to be left alone. This might mean that not many people socialise with each other.

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