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

What featuresare disturbing or reassuring in your selection of 19th century texts?

Extracts from this document...


What features are disturbing or reassuring in your selection of 19th century texts? The nineteenth century produced many of the very best authors of all time in all genres such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens and H.G. Wells. Although they made fame in their originality, many factors coincided in their writing and formed the base for characters and storylines. It was these influences which in a way made their stories and novels more interesting to delve into as they opposed disturbing and reassuring features to create points of discussion. During the 19th century, many controversial changes took place. In terms of science, there was a significant rise in interest and development especially after the outbreak of many diseases, none more so than the deadly bacteria of cholera. Cholera was an infectious epidemic and had many types though all of which were infectious and many of which were most disturbingly fatal. Cholera caused slowing of the blood circulation and was not caused by any form of consumption but was essentially spread from immigrants who had caught the disease in filthy, overcrowded ships. We see this particular aspect heavily dominant in 'The Stolen Bacillus' by H.G. Wells overlapping with other prevailing issues such as personality disorders and the inevitable destabilisation of society through anarchism and the will to oppose moral rights. Other factors which affected the content of our other two chosen texts - 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Hop frog' by Edgar Allan Poe - were also very prominent in the 19th century. ...read more.


Helen Stoner and the anarchist are both very disturbing through the impression we are given of them by their appearance. They are shown to be very worn-down for very different reasons and so we can view the links and contrasts very easily. Doyle describes Helen Stoner on her meeting of Holmes as 'a pitiable state of agitation, her face all drawn and grey, with restless, frightened eyes, like those of some hunted animal. Her features and figure were those of a woman of thirty, but her hair was short with premature grey, and her expression was weary and haggard.' This demonstrates how she appears to be very fatigued and distressed and her shaking emphasises her fear for something. She adds to this feeling by wearing a very dull, lifeless black, covering her face with a black veil to hide from as much as possible. This is very disturbing for us to read as we feel her vulnerability and seclusion from all around her and the feeling of a complete lack of influence on society. In contrast, Wells allows the anarchist to take a different approach in resolving this lack of influence, equally disturbing for very different reasons. The anarchist is described as 'pale' with 'lank black hair and deep grey eyes, the haggard expression and nervous manner, the fitful yet keen interest', as well as a desperate sentiment of not being noticed. ...read more.


How an action or description of a character is written can greatly affect the atmosphere emitted. For example, in 'The Stolen Bacillus' the actions of the anarchist can be made more disturbing by how he is described in doing it. Instead of 'looking at the little tube', Wells writes 'devouring the little tube' which makes it much more effective in creating a disturbing character. An example from 'Hop Frog' would be when he had just hauled the king and his ministers high into the air hanging from the chandelier: 'Leave them to me!' now screamed Hop Frog, his shrill voice making itself heard. One can imagine his shrill voice ring through the hall of real cunningness and terror adding to the distressing touch of this murder. And finally, in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band', we see the common structure of all detective stories where we are given all the subtle clues that Holmes gets and immediately we enter a game where we almost are attempting to outsmart Holmes. We feel reassured at how Holmes always appears to observantly pick out every clue we miss and how the tension of wanting to know how the murder was committed is always revealed at the very end. I feel that concluding all the examples of disturbing and reassuring features, there were more disturbing features in all but the 19th century was a period of great change, which can always be unsettling, and so it is of no surprise that this sentiment was carried on into the writing of that era. Edmund Leung ...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 Arthur Conan Doyle 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 Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. An essay to investigate the disturbing and reassuring aspects in the three stories

    These references would disturb readers because Poe would be able to write a distressing truth about the affects of alcohol, because he himself had experienced it, and he wrote at a time when the truth was censored from the public.

  2. Examine the characters and settings that the authors have used in each story.

    This quote also suggests that when going down into the room, nothing can be seen.

  1. The Hounds of the BaskervillesWhat does the novel tell us about the English society ...

    to rely on a regular job, therefore he seems to have a private income. Working only when he wants to is usual for those of his class in that period. His education and intelligence is seen once again when Holmes talks about 'The Times' newspaper "which is seldom found in any hands but those of the highly educated".

  2. She ran up the wooden staircase, her hand brushing along the ornate handrail, her ...

    Shall I go - "? "Oh, don't Ellie. I won't have any. I'm not that fond of tea really," Miss Smith smiled kindly. "Dr Watson, allow me to pour you some." Edward Peterson began to tell the story as the maid left. "Well, there isn't much to tell really.

  1. The 'Sea-Raiders' is a very different story to 'The Yellow Face' and 'The Goblin ...

    The reader sees Holmes at his best in this story his powers of observation are particularly noticeable following Munro's departure, when Holmes examines the pipe he has 'left-behind'. Holmes pays an amazing attention to detail and consider by the reader to be an excellent detective even though his theory is proved wrong at the end.

  2. In the beginning of my second story, written by Charles Dickens, The Signalman, the ...

    was it, maybe, even more compelling compared to then, due to a more constrained society (?), than today, therefore was the read more compelling by comparison to todays reader. Consequently the setting of a story could enhance a mysterious aspect, (effectively, moreover).

  1. How do 19th Century Short Stories create Mystery and Suspense?

    and we could see that she was indeed in a pitiable state of agitation, her face drawn and gray, with restless, frightened eyes, like those of some hunted animal. Her features and figure were those of a woman of thirty, but her hair was short with premature gray, and her expression was weary and haggard."

  2. The Comparison between two 19th centuries Crime stories

    The protagonist in the story Tell Tale Heart written by Edgar Allen Poe, is the tale of a insane lunatic madman that murders an old man for no justified reason. The protagonist is introduced to the reader as a delusional man; Poe represents this character as the insane fugitives of the criminal world.

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