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'The short story is an ideal form for writers who wantto create a sense of horror and suspense.' Discuss this statement withreference to two or more stories you have studied

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Introduction

'The short story is an ideal form for writers who want to create a sense of horror and suspense.' Discuss this statement with reference to two or more stories you have studied A novel is divided into different chapters and usually has different plots to focus on. In a novel there are lots of characters and the time scale is constantly changing throughout. Because there is more than one theme and there are different messages coming across of combined themes, makes the novel denser and more complicated to understand and to take in all the description. Ambrose Bierce wrote a lot of short stories and some we have studied and analysed. In a short story there is usually only one plot and the event usually carries on in the same setting. There are usually a couple of characters and one hidden message which makes the short stories more to the point and very direct. As I was analysing the short stories by Bierce, I realised that most of the characters in them were male and most of the stories contained physicians. Looking over Bierce's background I was able to see that Bierce was brought up in a male dominated area where women were secondary characters. ...read more.

Middle

For example, in the passage when the physician tricked John Bartine into opening his watch at 'two minutes to eleven.' We get every detail of his facial expressions and movements as it says, 'his eyes, their blackness strikingly intensified by the pallor of his face, were fixed upon the watch, which he clutched in both hands.' This description gives us a chance to feel the horror and to get a sense of how horrified John Bartine was as he opened the watch. This story makes us think about the things we inherit from our ancestors. When I say this I don't always mean materials. We can inherit all sorts of things like looks, attitude, illness or even personalities as they are passed through generations. In this case John Bartine has not only inherited his great grandfathers , Bramwell Olcott Bartine, watch but he has also inherited his looks and features as there was a picture of him on the inside of the watch and was described to be near identical to John Bartine. When John Bartine dies in the end of the story we are left wondering how he died. It says that 'every organ was normal and sound,' but yet he died in such an extreme way. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Stretched naked on a long table lay the body of Henry Armstrong, the head defile with blood and clay from a blow with a spade.' This is something we are not supposed to laugh at but some find it hilarious the way it happened. When I was researching about Bierce I read 'The Devil's Dictionary' and it stated that Bierce's definition of happiness is 'an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of others.' This ties in with us laughing at the misery of Henry Armstrong. Others find it horrifying as they would be terrified of being buried alive and in those days it was quite common for medical students to dig up the corpses. This also ties in with Bierce's definition of a grave, which I also found in 'The Devil's Dictionary.' A grave is a place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student.' Reading these stories of Bierce's I found to be very interesting and thoroughly enjoyed. I think it is clear that Bierce was trying to scare a lot of people and effectively did as the description, the language used, the mixed feelings it sends out and the context of his writing creates a lot of horror and suspense. Some may say that Bierce is sick others say that he is very intelligent. Bierce- brilliant or disturbed? ...read more.

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