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Pre-1914 poetry analysis

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Sally Walsh GCSE English Pre 1914 pros In the collection of pre-twentieth short stories, comment on the ways in which the authors create an atmosphere of suspense and tension For the past few weeks we have been studying a selection of short stories, but we are focusing our essay on the 'The Signalman' The Monkeys Paw' and 'The Black Veil'. All of these stories have one thing in common; they involve something to do with the supernatural. All these stories fall into the horror/mystery genre, the particular conventions of this genre are, confusion, death or crime also building suspense and they all have a climax or tension with the story. In the Victorian times the people responded to the stories with a interest because they lived by strong moral codes; for instance no sex before marriage, so these stories were something new and fun. The elements of 'The Signalman', which follow the conventions of a typical ghost story, are, he sees a number of 'visions' which are ghostly, Dickens builds up suspense through 'the bells' also the location of the story (where the events take place) is where a number of train crashes happened in reality (Staplehurst). ...read more.


Also a lot of things happen which we cant understand like when the lady says she is ill not bodily but mentally but doesn't give a explanation of her illness or exactly what she is talking about. The words 'in an agitated tone' reveal that the surgeon is feeling disturbed and something very wrong is happening. It also shows that the surgeon may be feeling a little scared as he's just found the answer to the ladies 'riddle' and he may have just discovered he is dealing with someone who is mentally ill, and he's found the truth about the lady. Dickens uses words such as 'The throat was swollen, and a livid mark encircled it,' this may affect the reader because the words used are harsh and create images of horror and death in the readers mind. This also adds to the tension as the truth is thrown at the reader suddenly. The story ends by explaining the death of the son of the lady in the black veil; it also then explains that the lady is insane; this leaves the reader feeling shocked and maybe saddened that the end of the story isn't happy. ...read more.


So the reader may be left feeling unhappy because the Monkeys Paw ruined the White family completely. The story 'The Signalman' is told by a gentleman who acts as the narrator, this helps to create suspense and tension because the narrator knows exactly the same as the readers do, and they go along the story with the narrator feeling the same feelings as he is and trying to work out the story with him. When the narrator first comes across the Signalman he is shown as a strange character because he is silent and still in a ghost like way. The words ''Halloa! Below!'' seem to be disturbing towards the signalman because he remains motionless and silent when the narrator shouts down to him, he later goes on to say to the narrator ''I was doubtful, whether I'd seen you before''. This leaves the reader feeling further intrigued because they may wonder whether or not the Signalman may be dreaming or could even be a little mental, and by the Signalman speaking these words he creates a peculiar atmosphere. And the reader may feel the need to read on because they want to find out more about this strange character who is the Signalman. ...read more.

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