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

Stories of strange happenings and the supernatural have always been popular, particularly in short story form. What, in your opinion, makes them so fascinating?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stories of strange happenings and the supernatural have always been popular, particularly in short story form. What, in your opinion, makes them so fascinating? With reference to at least two short stories, show how the writers use settings to create an atmosphere of mystery and tension. Short stories have been written for hundreds of years, although it was not until the nineteenth century that the short story became a popular genre in its own right. Many authors began their careers writing short stories in magazines and journals. (In fact literacy rates were better than ever before and were constantly improving; printing technology was also improving which meant that cheap magazines were widely available). The short story was the ideal form for writers who wanted to earn some immediate money and still reach a wide audience. Subject matter, form, and general characteristics came under close consideration and critics of the time discussed the short story in a way that made the public think of it as more than just a cut-down novel. ...read more.

Middle

H.G. Wells chose to set the story there, and he has obviously done it for a reason. "The door to the red room and the steps up to it were in a shadowy corner," this implies that the room has a sinister background, and may make the young man apprehensive or even fearful, it will also have the same effect on the reader. It is typical of its time, and the language demonstrates this. "There's many things to see, when one's still but eight and twenty", this was said by the old woman in the second paragraph, and it's an excellent example of Victorian language. The sentence structure and vocabulary is adversely different to that of the present day. This affects way the author writes a great deal, as society and culture at the time influence him and his writing a great deal. Like many other gothic short stories, the plot is centered on the unexplained and the story often questions the reader about this. ...read more.

Conclusion

"He noticed that she had small, white, quickly moving hands, and red fingernails." Again Billy Weaver said this, and it may make the reader feel oppressed or suspicious of the landlady. Writers will always be influenced by the society and culture of their particular era. This changes dramatically over time and therefore it effects writers in very different ways. This may be in the language or even the style the author uses. Both these stories are well written, although both are in slightly different styles. Personally I prefer that of Roald Dahl in the Landlady because the writer builds up suspense more effectively, and with less effort. The language is also more suited to the modern reader, compared to the Victorian language of the Red Room which some people may find difficult to understand. There is no doubt that the pre-nineteenth century gothic short story is still popular, as many are still read to this day. Although it's post-nineteenth century counterpart seems to me, to be the better choice for today's readers. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Page 1 David Marsden Sunday, 10th December, 2000 ...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. Commentary of Short Story

    I also used pathetic fallacy, 'the dismal sky, which was gradually getting darker and darker'. This expresses the narrator's dismal mood and also gave the feeling that something negative was going to happen, in comparison with the negative weather. Weather was quite an important issue in the story and was

  2. Comparing short stories

    (Pg 7) And the opening of 'The Whole Towns Sleeping' is a moonlit sky. 'There were two moons: a clock moon with four faces in four night directions above the solemn black courthouse, and the real moon that was slowly rising I vanilla whiteness from the dark east.' (Pg 37)

  1. Mystery stories- Pre 1914 prose

    Imagery is another dominant factor which is apparent through use of similes, metaphors and personification of darkness and fear; Phrases such as "ocean of mystery" and "little tongue of light" show this well. Writing style in Victorian era was long complex sentences and archaic language, language such as "tangible" it

  2. What makes a good mystery story

    The structure is that it must have an interesting beginning that makes the reader want to read on, suspense throughout and a twist in the tale at the end. 'The Speckled Band' by Arthur Conan Doyle - in this story the narrator, has included all the necessary characters for a good murder mystery.

  1. Compare the two short stories

    intellect to think his way around events, where as the heroine of the other story quietly respects what she sees and hears but uses her intellect to disperse any fears by coming to reasonable conclusions concerning events around her. Let us consider the apparitions.

  2. Wider Reading: Compare and contrast the landlady and a terrible strange bed, which story ...

    The landlady starts to talk about herself to Billy, she tells him that she stuffs animals as a hobby. Billy asked the landlady about the other guests but the landlady didn't give a straight answer saying that they were still in the B&B, this shows that the writer is giving

  1. Pre 1914 Prose Fiction - Stories of Mystery

    Part two can easily be compared to the main part of 'The Tell Tale Heart', with both stories using emotive vocabulary and short sentences to create a strong dramatic atmosphere. 'The Goblins who Stole a Sexton' by Charles Dickens is a very different story to the previous two, with a

  2. What makes a good mystery? Using three of the classical mysteries read in class ...

    which is almost described as gloomy, "the gloominess of the health spa." The author uses the sense of sight to build a picture in the readers' mind, which adds to the effect of the story. When the two people approach the narrator, they are walking at a "slow pace," which

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