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Select three episodes from the story (The Ostler), which help create the feeling of suspense. Explain why, in your opinion, today's reader does not find it as frightening as when it was first written.

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Select three episodes from the story, which help create the feeling of suspense. Explain why, in your opinion, today's reader does not find it as frightening as when it was first written. "The Ostler" a pre-20th century story by Wilkie Collins written in 1855. This short story is about the life of a man called Isaac Scatchard, who is a very unfortunate man. He goes for a job and being the unlucky man he is, gets there a day late. He stays at a frightening inn where he has a dream/premonition about a woman who tries to kill him. Later in the story he meets and marries this woman. The Opening four paragraphs are one episode in the story where suspense I built. The narrator, Wilkie Collins, writes these first four paragraphs in first person. In the first paragraph he describes a strange old man sleeping in a stable in the middle of the day, "I find an old man, fast asleep...it is midday". This suggests that there is something strange about this man, because it is the middle of the day and an Ostler would have been working. ...read more.


Where he says, "...and stopped." It builds up more tension. It makes you curious as to why she's stopped. The way the author describes Isaacs mothers expression after she has first met Rebecca reveals that Isaacs mother has obviously realized something that has petrified her, "Her face, which had been flushed a moment before, turned white in an instant-...a blank look of terror-her outstretched arms fell to her sides...she staggered back...a low cry to her son." Earlier Mrs Scatchard had been ecstatic to meet Rebecca, but then the author described how she looked as though she'd seen a ghost. Her outstretched arms that dropped to her sides when she saw Rebecca, suggests that she is no longer welcoming Rebecca, and this causes the reader to become curious as to how Rebecca might react to this rejection. A similar episode in this short story that presents a feeling of suspense are the four paragraphs where Isaac goes back to the house to look for Rebecca after she had tried to kill him and he had left her. In the first paragraph the writer repeats his actions of trying to lull the reader into a false sense of security by suggesting that Isaac has escaped being murdered by his wife ...read more.


She could re-enter the house anytime, even if the doors and windows were locked, she could pick them, hence, "...a picklock lay on the floor..." This story has a different impact on readers now than when it was first published because readers in 1855 were easier to scare than readers now. They believed in precognitive dreams. This story would have been very frightening as they did not have electricity and there would have been a lot more shadows, which would have created a scary atmosphere. Writers of horror stories now use a lot more description of things to make it seem real. An example of a modern writer could be Dean R. Koontz who builds up tension everywhere and hits you with blood and gore quite early on in the story. I think the story was full of anticipation but it should have been more descriptive and it think that if a modern writer now changed and added to it, it would be a really horrific horror story. I think the second section I chose, was the most effective because it was the decision area where Isaac could choose whether to leave Rebecca and get away from her, stay with her and wait for her to try and murder him or kill her first. Louise Heritage 10H2 1 ...read more.

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