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With Close references to the texts you have been studying, explore how the authors of The Red Room, The Monkeys Paw and The Speckled Band establish and develop gothic setting and atmosphere.

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Introduction

With Close references to the texts you have been studying, explore how the authors of The Red Room, The Monkey's Paw and The Speckled Band establish and develop gothic setting and atmosphere. The Monkey's Paw, The Red Room and the Speckled Band were short stories written in 1892 - 1902 that adopted a style of Gothic Literature. During the late 19th century and early 20th century this style of literature grew to become very popular. This was due to the change in lifestyle during the Victorian period and was supported by many historical aspects. Additionally, the 1870s the School Act was introduced which introduced more literate people into society therefore increasing the demand for books. The Speckled Band was the first, of the three books, to be written in 1892 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Not only does it include gothic elements but another main theme that runs through the short story is mystery. The Red Room was the second to be written in 1896 by H.G.Wells and it included mystery, gothic elements in addition to a ghost story. The setting of The Red Room helps to express different themes because an ancient castle is used. The use of a castle is a common setting used in gothic novels because it dated back from the medieval ages when gothic architecture was popular. The Monkey's Paw by W.W.Jacobs was the last short story written out of the three that were studied. This was written as a crime investigation in 1902 but the short story included different gothic aspects, for example, the use of exoticness causing unease. The Monkey's Paw was brought from India which was ruled under the British Empire during the era; Indian items were often thought to be exotic and strange. In the three stories the authors have made effective use of irony and gothic devices which include contrast and pathetic fallacy. ...read more.

Middle

After the death of Herbert there is a lot of silence between the two parents which builds up tension. This tension helps to create a very gothic atmosphere because there has already been a death and the reader wants to know whether the Monkey's Paw actually is, really, supernatural. The section when there is knocking on the door, it gets is very tense because of the darkness and the old people's struggle. This tension has an anti-climax when the mother opens the door to find nothing. Throughout the story there is a theme about fate. When the Whites' wish on the monkey's paw they're instantly playing with fate: because they make a wish which is against their fate. During the sergeant major's visit he makes himself clear about the situation by saying ' It had a spell put on it by an old fakir ... a very holy man He wanted to show that fate rules people's lives, and those who interfered with it did so in their own sorrow.' Throughout the whole story there is a fight with fate as the Whites: wish for �200, wish for their son alive and finally a wish for their son dead! During this era the British Empire was thriving and the other countries were kept under control with the armies. This meant that many people would visit India on a daily basis. An example of this is in the Monkey's Paw; the Sergeant Major was from India. He tells stories about India which were: 'spoke of wild scenes and doughty deeds; of wars and plagues and strange peoples.' Indian items were often seemed to be strange, exotic and new. The Speckled Band is narrated in first-person through the eyes of Dr Watson, who is Sherlock Holmes' assistant. The advantage is that the reader can understand plot and storyline with greater understanding and relate to the story more personally because Dr Watson is an average man. ...read more.

Conclusion

Use of similes, metaphors and personification helps to make descriptions vivid by comparing their subjects with known events or things. Effective methods help readers visualize what is being described making it a more gothic description. In conclusion the writers of The Speckled Band, The Monkey's Paw and The Red Room establish and develop gothic setting and atmosphere by using a variety of features. The Speckled Band has been kept gothic elements with aspects of mystery with in the story. To make it an effective short story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has employed a sophisticated narrative technique to keep the reader in suspense till the very end of the story. Conan Doyle has also kept the story very authentic to make the plot more realistic by using real locations and popular opinions including the belief the police were incompetent. The Monkey's Paw is about a battle against fate with the mystery of the Monkey's Paw. It is very effect as a short story because it adopts a lot of ironic features including the third wish being for death of their son which was predicted from the sergeant major. W.W.Jacobs keeps the reader interested by including many social and historical aspects to this story. For example there is large reference to the Industrial revolution and the British Empire. The Red Room has a very simple plot but has been cleverly written to create an unnerving atmosphere. H.G.Wells has done this by describing the setting in tremendous detail and by using a first person narrative. The first person narrative helps to understand the process going though the protagonist mind and understanding why the darkness lead him into a state of insanity; there is limited view which leaves a mystery into the reason of what happened on the frightening night. All three stories embraced gothic literature in different ways but have done so successfully. Overall, I think these short stories were very effective and were superbly written for their generation. They are appreciation in this generation and will be acknowledged in years to come. ...read more.

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