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What makes a good short story? With detailed references to the stories you have read from the nineteenth century, explain what has interested you.

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Introduction

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SHORT STORY? WITH DETAILED REFERENCES TO THE STORIES YOU HAVE READ FROM THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, EXPLAIN WHAT HAS INTERESTED YOU. I have studied three different nineteenth century short stories. These are 'The Signalman', 'The Red Room' and 'The Stolen Bacillus'. Both 'The Red Room' and 'The Stolen Bacillus' were written by H.G. Wells and 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens. All three of these stories are very detailed and traditional with their long and complicated words. The best aspect of these short stories was their genre which, was a mystery and I find that mysterious stories always make me want to read on because I want to know what's going to happen. Short stories are effective because they get straight to the point and are quick to read. Out of these stories, I found that they all have a similar plot in the way that they all have a sense of danger or warnings in them. For example, in 'The Red Room' the old people try to warn off this man from entering the red room because it's supposed to have some sort of fear in it. Then, in 'The Signalman' a signalman keeps seeing a spectre before something terrible happens and so the spectre he sees is trying to warn the Signalman that something's going to happen and as we find out, this spectre is trying to warn him of his own fatal death. ...read more.

Middle

When a new man comes into the room, the writer describes him like this. "He supported himself by a single crutch, his eyes were covered by a shade, and his lower lip, half averted, hung pale and pink from his decaying yellow teeth." As you can see, it is not a lot, but it is enough for a short story. In 'The Signalman', again they are very similar. The Signalman is wary of his visitor, he is a stranger to him and we know this by the way that the writer describes him. The visitor though is quite different. He is a cheery man and he is very thoughtful. "I had proved the man to be intelligent, vigilant, painstaking, and exact." This story differs from 'The Red Room' by the way that they have lots if eye contact between them. This still creates tension, but in a different sort of way. Even though the story is similar to 'The Red Room', 'The Signalman' is much calmer and sadder. There is quite a bit of description from the visitor about the Signalman, "His post was in as solitary and dismal place as ever I saw," and "... dark sallow man, with a dark beard and rather heavy eyebrows..." This description tells us that the Signalman is quite a lonely and depressed man, but is well educated and trying to educate himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again, there are a lot of complex words and this story is very traditional or the typical nineteenth century language. 'The Stolen Bacillus' still has a lot of repetition like the other two stories. "...and death-mysterious, untraceable, death, death swift and terrible, death full of pain and indignity." This quote is one, which makes the reader feel very uneasy about all this death business, and tells us a lot about the Anarchist's way of thinking. The language in this story is much easier to understand with hardly any complicated words. It was still very descriptive and had a nice, comical twist at the end of it, which was quite different to the other two as they both ended with either someone dying or someone getting injured. H.G. Wells has contrasted his two stories really well but they do still have similar bonds between them which makes H.G. Wells stories are easy to point out and he is original in his own significant way. All three of these stories are effective because they get straight to the point, there isn't too much character description, the atmosphere can be very tense but it can also be clam at the same time, the language has been chosen very carefully, there aren't too many characters, the stories are generally easier to get in to. This is what makes short stories so effective! A:\WHAT MAKES A GOOD SHORT STORY.doc Kirsten Stone. 10X. ...read more.

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