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

What methods do the writers use in order to create mood, atmosphere and character in the short stories you have studied?

Extracts from this document...


What methods do the writers use in order to create mood, atmosphere and character in the short stories you have studied? The horror story genre is one of mystery and intrigue. In the times before television and radio horror stories used to be told to groups of people as a form of entertainment. The story tellers intent was to keep the audience guessing and on the edge of their seats. Although by today's standards these stories seem rather tame, in the period in which they were written they would have captivated and scared their audiences much as would the latest Hollywood thriller scare us today. All of the horror stories that we have covered share the common themes of the supernatural and death two leading principles incorporated into horror stories of this particular genre. The opening of a Victorian horror novel is of great importance, it must be able to draw the reader in and make them want to read on. Therefore the opening must not give too much away and plant lots of unanswered questions in the readers mind. However it also has to make you suspicious of either a character or place at the same time as withholding information. A good example of this technique is seen in The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens. The start of this story builds tension and atmosphere; it makes us wary and suspicious of the Signal-Man and makes us wonder what event has caused him to behave in such a strange manner. ...read more.


This tells us that he is scared of the paw and we immediately start wondering why such a strong looking, travel hardened man should be so scared of a small mummified object. My last examples come from The Red Room and Draculas Guest. In The Red Room the old people at the start are seem to be not all there and we are led to believe that their stories are just the mad ramblings of cooped up pensioners trying to scare the confident young man. These feelings are conveyed by H.G. Wells because he describes them with withered arms, bent backs and decaying teeth and in the quote "I half expected the old people were trying to enhance the spiritual terrors of their house by their droning insistence." He also makes them cough and seem very ill and unhealthy so that we are disinclined to believe their stories. In Draculas guest the coach driver is made out to be very strange and mysterious. At the thought of venturing down the road he becomes frantic and scared trying desperately to explain to the English man why this is not a good idea; however he is kept mysterious by the fact that his sentences are mostly in German which means we can't understand what he is warning the narrator of. This is shown in the quotes "At this he grew very pale, and, looking around in a frightened way, he suddenly jumped forward" and "his English was quite gone now. In his anxiety he had forgotten that his only means of making me understand was to talk my language." ...read more.


When reading the stories I found that the endings all seemed to work on the same principles. These were leave questions unanswered and surprise the reader, such as in the Signal-Man when he is unexpectedly killed at the end and in The Monkey's Paw when we never find out whether Herbert was behind the door. This shows that Victorian audiences liked to be kept guessing at the end of the story. However I disliked this type of ending as I prefer the ending to answer all my questions such as in Lost Hearts and The Red Room. These stories explained the mysterious events and yet still made for an enjoyable read. The ones where lots of questions were unanswered left you feeling flat and confused, as not all the story seemed to make sense and I was hoping that this would be explained at the end, but to no avail. Another point about the endings of the stories is that the tension always seems to build you up and then falls flat and generally disappoints you. This was most apparent in The Monkeys Paw and The Signal-Man. In conclusion I think that the key components to a good Victorian horror story are: mysterious characters, ideas of the supernatural and death, a secluded dark setting, a first person narrator, lots of imagery, building tension and an ending that shocks and leaves questions unanswered. I feel that the story which fills these criteria most effectively was the signalman by Charles Dickens. ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    3 short stories comparison essay

    4 star(s)

    Also he has a servant, further highlighting the fact he is wealthy. The master is a man of intellectuality, science and philosophy. The master has also the house full of scientific instruments; "a telescope...bands of metal", highlighting the masters knowledge of philosophy and science.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Techniques Used by Wells in The Red Room to Create a Feeling of ...

    4 star(s)

    The location is critical to the short story. The writer needs to give his story a carefully considered and appropriate backdrop, and since this is a gothic novel a typical gothic setting is needed, in the form of an old castle with long passages and subterranean levels.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How is suspense created in The Signalman?

    3 star(s)

    of our own resolutions which also creates suspense as there are so many distinct possibilities. Charles Dickens has used the title to create suspense. The title creates suspense as it consists of an eponymous character. An eponymous character is a character whose name is in the title while also being the focus of the book.

  2. The Long and the Short and the Tall - Examine the Characters of ...

    Bamforth stoutly defends the Japanese prisoner when he is suspected of looting cigarettes from British soldiers, using irrefutable arguments in his defence; 'I'm telling you. I gave him half a dozen nubs.' He condemns every member of the patrol for his eagerness to inflict violence punishment on the prisoner; 'Aren't you the boy?

  1. Analysis on the character of Margot Frank

    This proves that Anne thinks Margot should stand up for herself, and not just always stand the middle ground. When she says this her Mother tries again to talk to her but Anne exclaims "Margot!

  2. Vendetta and School Teachers Guest

    After she was done training Semillante Widow Saverini waiting till the right day came and she would know when that day would come. Widow Saverini Disguises herself as a tattered old beggar man, which to the other people around who saw Widow Saverini, did not see her as Widow Saverini but saw her as the old beggar man.

  1. How does Arthur Miller use techniques to show Eddie's changing relationships

    When Marco discovers Eddie has called the Immigration Bureau, we know their relationship ahs been ended. (Marco spits into Eddie's face) This action conveys Marco's rage and anger for the betrayal. Thus he accuses him in front of the whole community, 'I accuse that one'.

  2. Iago has been called a motiveless malignity. Discuss your personal response in this.

    One of his hints to the audience is declaring 'I am not what I am' - this gives us a clue he is not a good person. Iago knows Roderigo has feelings Desdemona, and would do anything to make her his own.

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