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Mystery stories of the Nineteenth century.

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Introduction

Mystery stories of the Nineteenth century Comment on the use of character, plot and location in each of the stories you have read. Demonstrate the similarities, which are apparent in these tales and then consider how the period affects your enjoyment of them. I have read 3 different mystery stories all written around the end of the nineteenth century, which I feel may influence the way in which they are written. The three stories I read were- The Judge's House- Bram Staker The Signalman - Charles Dickens The Red Room- H.G Wells The characters in a nineteenth century mystery story have a lot to do with the tension and suspense of the story. Even the minor characters in the story help to create the atmosphere. I have found many patterns between the characters in the different stories I have read, I am now going to access the characters from each story. In The Judge's house the main character Malcolm Malcolmson is a visitor to the town the story is set in and doesn't know anyone there or the history behind the Judge's house. ...read more.

Middle

They give the main character many warnings about staying in the Red Room. The minor characters are very old which may represent wisdom or knowledge; also some of the minor characters have disabilities. "It's you own choosing, said the man with the withered arm" "This night of all nights?" The third story I read was The Signalman. In this story the main character is once again a stranger to the area and does not know the other man whom he meets. The other main character in this story is the man who works at the railroad; he brings a real sense of mystery and suspense to the story. The location of the places in the mystery stories are very important as they can create tension and set the scene for the rest of the story. In The Judge's house the location is very important. It is set in a small, rural village in a large, old, detached house. The location is very isolated which mean that there is no chance of the protagonist receiving help if he is in trouble, this adds suspense. ...read more.

Conclusion

"The rat with the Judge's baleful eyes." In The Red Room we see a case of pathetic fallacy, this is where the weather reflects what is happening in the story. For example if there is a storm then something bad may be about to happen. Also in The Red Room repetitiveness is used to emphasise points. "It's your own choosing," is repeated twice by the old man and, "This night of all nights," is repeated many times by the old woman. This shows us just how strongly the minor characters believe in the supernatural. Another main feature is that The Red Room and The Signalman are written in the first person narrative. The only problem with this is that we know that the author must survive which takes away from the suspense. At the time when these stories were written mystery stories were very popular. Many people around this time believed in the supernatural, I feel that this makes the stories more enjoyable as the authors really believed about what they were writing. This was also around the time of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes. I have enjoyed these stories, as they are short but still full of description and suspense. ...read more.

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