• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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)

    and darkness, "as if I had left the natural world", conveying the feeling of isolation also creating an atmosphere of uneasiness. In "the Phantom Coach" connotations of loneliness and desolate feelings are conveyed. The words, "bleak wide moor" highlights the fact that James is far from civilisation therefore tension is built up.

  2. "The story of an hour" and "The necklace" Write a character study of each ...

    But Madame Loisel shows no gratitude or thought for his feelings. She is selfish and thinks only of her own position. She throws it back in his face declaring "What's the good of this to me!". She is cross and impatient with him saying "What do you think I'm to wear?".

  1. 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.

  2. Analysis on the character of Margot Frank

    Anne seems to think that Margot doesn't express, or even has an opinion about anything, and this is apparent after the accident, when Mrs Frank is talking to Anne, and discloses to her that it would benefit everyone if she were more like Margot, Anne defends herself by saying "And

  1. Victorian short stories

    compensation is this just a coincidence or does the monkeys paw really work, after the funeral the mother wishes for her son to be alive again, the house is quiet and there is a feint knocking at the door, the mother wants to open the door but the father holds

  2. Short Stories Essay

    The story has a good vocabulary; an example of this would be "He wore his history on his arms" which shows he has tattoos on his arms that express what has happened in his life and how his life was.

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

    Eddie in return gives him a warm welcome. 'You're welcome, Marco' (Exits into bedroom with their bags) This shows Eddie is very polite towards Marco, and is very helpful because he takes their bags in the room. Marco in the first scene, repeatedly says 'Thank, you' which shows his gratitude for Eddie.

  2. how does the director paul greengrass create tension in the film united 93

    passengers run, even though we know that there is nowhere to run to. Throughout all of this shocking violence, there is screaming and shouting, which makes the atmosphere even more shocking. Ziad Jarrah does nothing, but sits there and looks at what is happening, then gets up and says to

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