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Victorian Gothic Novels

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What Techniques have been used by the Writers to Create Tension and fear into these Victorian Gothic novels, and how successful have they been? Gothic literature became a very popular genre in the 18th century. Many well accomplished writers gave gothic literature an endeavour, such as Charles Dickens and H.G.Wells. These stories were meant to excite the reader and bring a sensation of suspense. This type of literature uses a range of language techniques, such as onomatopoeia, personification and alliteration. This creates an eerie and terrifying scene. Usually the stories start with an atmosphere of suspension and paranoia. The reader always assumes that something will happen; from monstrous beasts, mischievous spirits or something just as scary. The authors of all Gothic stories explain the scene vigilantly to build a very eerie ambience; however the gothic literature from the eighteenth century now may lack the suspension and monstrous horrors that we crave today. "The Monkey's Paw" and "The Red Room" are two examples of very traditional gothic literature. "The Signalman" has also the paradigm of gothic literature but Charles dickens used a more contemporary style. ...read more.


Alliteration is also a key tool to a good gothic story. It is a technique used to catch the reader's attention and it also helps to build to the air of suspension. "Fires flickering" and "shadows shifting" are good examples of this technique. Personification is the most important language technique used in Gothic Literature. It gives the notion that not everything is what it seems and that everything is alive and looking at you. The effect of the moving objects is intimidating and adds to the essence of paranoia. The "Red Room" uses a lot of Personification as it is strongly linked to paranoia and the feeling that there could be something else there. The shadows especially were "perpetually shifting and stirring" giving the impression they were alive or something was moving. The "Signalman" and the "Monkey's Paw" both also use personification to build the intense atmosphere. Gothic stories always need good characters in their work to make the readers interested in what happens to them. Weird things often happen the these characters for example when Sergeant Major Morris introduces the perfectly ordinary and serene family the Whites to the abnormal monkeys paw things go mysteriously wrong. ...read more.


This taught the naive character not to be so pompous. There was also a lesson to be learned by reading the "Monkey's Paw". The irony of the paw meant that the White family only got rich by the compensation money of their sons tragic death. By the end of the story Mr. White even ended up wishing his son away which made such a huge transformation from the perfectly calm and serene White family before the monkey's paw. In conclusion I think that to make a good gothic story the writer needs to have a gripping tale that will keep the reader interested and full of suspense all the way through. It should keep the reader curious and use a good range of language techniques. It is best when the writer uses a lot of personification because it moulds very well with gothic literature. Fundamentally think the most effective Gothic story out of these three examples is "The Signalman". This is because it uses a good variation a language techniques and has interesting characters. But mainly it has a more gripping story line which keeps the reader curious and full of suspense. The other two stories are good but lack some essential excitement. Also "The Signalman" is more individual because it is not as traditional as the others. ...read more.

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