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"The following passage comes from a tale of terror - Consider its effectiveness with particular reference to narrative power and atmosphere."

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"The following passage comes from a tale of terror. Consider its effectiveness with particular reference to narrative power and atmosphere." Since this passage originates from a tale of terror, it will rely on certain techniques to attain a specific ambience based on that of fear and surprise. In an attempt to achieve this "shock-factor" effectively, the author endeavours to develop an eerie atmosphere particularly focusing on a sense of foreboding due to a fear of both the unknown and of the supernatural; the intention of which was to continuously increase suspense and tension until the final climax of the passage. One major component the author uses to help add a sense of foreboding is symbolism. The boldly contrasting images of "the hands of Satan" and "deliverance...from Heaven", which could be interpreted as symbolising a progressing conflict between a generalised good and evil, increases tension while also injecting a menacing sense of apprehension to the passage. Symbolism and contrast are used twice more throughout to continue to add to the already mounting levels of unease and suspense. ...read more.


bed" before having "darted after" her uncle "to detain him". Another example of an intense period of urgency within the passage occurs soon after "the door...closed violently" which "divided the two rooms" leaving Rose isolated in one, an action to which Schalken responded by "rush(ing) to the door". Atmosphere is also built up extremely effectively by the author's use of bold imagery, which often includes amplification in the form of repetition ("...applied every energy and strained every nerve...") and onomatopoeia ("...the window...grated upon the sill...") for further emphasis. Stereotypical imagery of the gothic horror tradition is used ("...a sudden gust of air blew out the candle...") once more adding to the contrasting light/dark images and emphasising the atmospheric sense of evil. The author uses two other techniques to add to the eerie atmosphere of the passage: direct speech and the use of both short paragraphs and even shorted sentences. After three paragraphs explaining how two men had struggled to enter Rose's room and finally succeeded, one of the most important climaxes of the extract is reached: we should find out what has happened to Rose in the room, but instead we find that "It was empty". ...read more.


This entire extract works on the theory that "the darkness is unsafe" ~ ultimately that the unseen is "unsafe", and by not allowing the reader to find out exactly what has happened to Rose there is an air of mystery, and room for interpretation, which arguably makes the terror this extract was pushing for, more terrifying. The narration does, on several occasions, give the opportunity for direct speech to occur. By allowing us, as the reader, to see what the characters are feeling ("O God! Do not go, dear uncle!") the impact of the events that will follow are made increasingly more important and again, suspense levels are increased. This technique has not been overused and therefore, when we are able to see what a character is saying, the effect is even more powerful. When combining these numerous techniques the effectiveness of the passage based on a tale of terror is extremely effective when considering what it set out to achieve. A fear of the unknown and unseen was fashioned throughout with the intention of creating an ending full of suspense and mystery, and this has been achieved. Emma Li Wright -1- Mrs Taylor Analysing Narrative Power and Atmosphere ...read more.

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