How Writers of 19th Century Stories Create Tension and Suspense

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How Writers of 19th Century Stories Create Tension and Suspense

The writers in 19th century stories create tension and suspense

through the use of gothic horror. This style of writing is designed to

frighten and panic and cause dread and alarm. It innovates our hidden

worst fears often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating

and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience.

Horrors effectively centre on the dark side of life, the forbidden,

and the strange and alarming events.

It deals with the audience’s most primal nature and its fears. This

may include nightmares, vulnerability, alienation, revulsions, and

terror of the unknown, fear of the death and dismemberment, loss of

identity and fear of sexuality.

Horrors can play on our physical fears, such as grotesque scenes and

frightening characters, or our psychological fears, tapping into our

dreams states and the horror of irrational and unknown, and the horror

within man himself.

There are many examples of gothic fiction, here are a few: The Red

Room, The Monkey’s Paw, The Signalman, Desiree’s Baby, Clubfooted

Grocer, these are the stories that I will be analysing. More horror

stories include Frankenstein, Dracula and The Golem.

The following essay will examine, how the writers of 19th century

stories create tension and suspense through the use of the four main

features, such as setting, character, hints and time delay.

The following will discuss how the setting creates tension and

suspense in 19th century stories.

In The Red Room, written by H.G Wells, the castle is old, steeped in

history and tradition.

‘The long, draughty subter...

... middle of paper ...

... In Desiree’s Baby, the author reveals the truth about Armand’s

background in the last paragraph. This makes the reader evaluate the

whole story. Desiree’s suffering and pain was all unnecessary. This

ending comes as a shock to the reader and makes it an effective twist.

In conclusion, the techniques that have been used to create tension

and suspense are: setting, character, hints and time delay. All these

four main features where really effective in creating tension and

suspense as they all kept the reader engaged to the stories.

Overall I think that the story that may have been the most successful

in achieving this is Desiree’s Baby. I think this because the ending

of this story was a shock and surprise to the reader; moreover the

reader felt sympathy for Desiree as she suffered needless pain from

her husband.
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