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"Show how H.G Wells and Robert Bloch Create fear in 'The Red room' and 'Hobo'. What techniques do they use? How effective are they?"

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Introduction

GCSE English coursework Wide Reading "Show how H.G Wells and Robert Bloch Create fear in `The Red room' and `Hobo'. What techniques do they use? How effective are they?" During this coursework, I will be studying and comparing two short stories in order to see how fear is created in different styles of thriller writing. The two short stories I will be using for this essay are `Hobo' and `The Red room'. Robert Bloch wrote `Hobo' at the start of the 20^th century and its setting is in America. During this time, the country was in the grips of a depression and many people were unemployed, living as tramps (or in American terms Hobos). `The Red room' is also a Non-modern story but H.G Wells wrote it earlier on, in the 19^th century. Both stories build up fear using descriptive writing and characterisation but use these techniques in varying ways. The setting of a story can be one of the most important ways of creating and expressing fear. `Hobo's setting is on a freight train, which is moving away from an American town. It is set in the half darkness of evening and throughout the story, it gets darker. This darkness sets the readers mind on the unknown and since the unknown is scary for everyone, this is a crucial element in creating fear in the setting. ...read more.

Middle

Hannigan likes to drink what he calls `sneaky Pete', alcohol of some kind, perhaps whisky; consequently, he is probably drunk in the story. The fact he is drunk may account for how he manages to badly scrape his knee getting on to the train and also why he doesn't realise that his companion is dead sooner. Hannigan is scared but when he thinks that, another Hobo is in the boxcar with him he relaxes and shows more of his personality. The reader knows quite a lot about Hannigan so they can work out why he thinks, does or feels certain things. When the reader understands characters feelings, they affect them more than, if the author had told them barely anything about a character. Hannigan feels scared of the tramp murderer who he calls `the knife' which is why he has `gone on the lam', (on the run). When Robert Bloch shows Hannigan's feelings, he creates a bond between character and reader. This bond provokes the reader to feel (to a degree) like Hannigan does. The main character of `The Red Room' is very different from Hannigan. He is a young middle/upper class man who is arrogant, self assured and inquisitive. You do not find out the name of the main character since he is also the narrator (H.G Wells wrote the story in the first person tense). ...read more.

Conclusion

The other times she speaks are just to say `This night of all nights!' the housekeeper seems slightly crazy in the way she repeats this but this seems to be mainly because she is scared. Though she seems solitary and uncaring, she lays the fire ready for the young man showing that she actually does care. At the end, the old housekeeper acts normally and seems inquisitive to know about the ghost, maybe to dispel her fear. The first of the male servants is `the man with the withered arm'. other than the fact that he has a withered arm we know nothing about his physical appearance. This servant seems to talk the most, trying always to dissuade the young man from going to the red room .As a reader I also get the feeling that he does not want to be held responsible for any strange event that happens in the room. He keeps reminding the young man `it is your own choosing'. H.G Wells does not describe the housekeeper or the man with the withered arm in much detail physically, unlike the last servant to enter. `The man with the shade' is how the author describes this servant and he is the one character in the whole story whose appearance is described in any kind of detail. H.G Wells describes him in a way that makes him sound slightly grotesque, since this is how the young man sees him. ...read more.

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