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The Whole Town's Sleeping and Terribly Strange Bed

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The Whole Town's Sleeping and Terribly Strange Bed In this essay I will be comparing two (2) short stories 'The Whole Town's sleeping' by Ray Bradbury (1950) and 'A Terribly Strange Bed' by Wilkie Collins (1856). Both stories are about fear and they make us feel fear or are supposed to; they make the reader scared or frightened. Both stories have the same purpose, which is so scare the reader. I am going to compare the way Ray Bradbury and Wilkie Collins create tension, suspense, mood and tone. In the first few lines of 'The Whole Town's Sleeping', the author describes the setting for the story, "the little town was deep far away from everything, kept to itself by a river and a forest and a ravine", but before that he mentions that it is nighttime. Both stories are set at nighttime. This is because if it were set in the daytime it simply wouldn't be scary. The whole town wouldn't be sleeping and the narrator wouldn't need a terribly strange bed to sleep in. ...read more.


much "delightful city of our sojourn" it doesn't seem to play a large part in the story and doesn't seem to be anything special. However in 'The Whole Town's sleeping', quite the opposite is the case, the first two paragraphs (half the page) are all about the setting and this is very important to the mood and tone of the story without it, you might not believe that a madman could run around killing people for months without being caught. Tension and Suspense are also very important in both stories. Tension is built up a little at the beginning of 'The Whole Town's sleeping', before the women find the body and its unexpected. The main excitement of the story is at the end, when Lavinia is running through the ravine. The tension is build up using sentences that get shorter and shorter, so that you read them faster and faster until the last sentences are only a couple of words long and the reader is getting really excited. Then when Lavinia reaches the house and locks the door, the reader feels the relief that the character is feeling. ...read more.


When the narrator reaches the police station, the suspense is relieved, and in thins story, you read about the aftermath of the event, unlike the other two stories where you don't know what happens next. In Collins' story, you are told what happens next, and you finish the story quite pleased, like the narrator would be, instead of still scared like you are in the other story. Both stories are similar and different; the authors use different methods to make the reader scared. The stories have some similarities and others have differences. Ray Bradbury describes the scenery whereas Wilkie Collins describes the characters. Setting seems to be more important in 'The Whole Town's Sleeping' than it is in Collins' story and tension and suspense is used very differently in the both stories, Bradbury uses a sharp shock and then a steady buildup, then a false relief before a final cliffhanger and Collins uses a strange buildup to what seems like somewhat of an anti-climax and then re establishes the tension, for a gentle relief and a settled ending. Nathi Thwala English Coursework 04/02/03 ...read more.

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