The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs, The Clubfooted Grocer by Sir Arthur

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The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs, The Clubfooted Grocer by Sir Arthur

Canon Doyle, The Red Room by H. G. Wells and The Signalman by Charles

Dickens

Analyse how the writers successfully use aspects of the supernatural

to create dramatic tension in the short stories you have read.

The nineteenth century was an era of general belief in ghosts and

spirituality. This is what made gothic stories even more appealing and

successful during this era – the fact that they would be seen as being

realistic. One major reason for the rise in spirituality during this

era was the fact that many people had started to lose their Christian

faith (mainly because the Church was unable to give an explanation as

to why ghosts existed) and so they started to search for a new way of

understanding and accepting death. I think that the Victorian’s

enjoyed reading horror stories because they offer a challenge – to see

whether the reader can figure out who the “ghost” or spectre

represents and what they are doing. By involving the reader, the

writers were able to keep them interested throughout the story. During

the Victorian era, the short story became a very popular genre and

ghost stories were well-liked with the readers. It was therefore very

important for the authors to build tension and suspense to keep their

readers interested. I will be studying: “The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W.

Jacobs, “The Clubfooted Grocer” by Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, “The Red

Room” by H. G. Wells and “The Signalman” by Charles Dickens. In this

essay, I will be exploring the ways in which the writers use the

supernatural to create dramatic tension in the above stories.

“The Monkey’s Paw” is a short story by W. W. Jacobs, written in 1902.

The title of a sto...

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...cause there is a lot of mystery present throughout the

story. The strangest thing is the fact that the Signalman himself is

an educated man, yet he sees strange, unexplainable Apparitions which

eventually lead to his death.

Overall, I believe that these short stories are effective in

entertaining the reader and keeping them interested throughout the

story. The writers use many different techniques such as

personification, metaphors, similes and imagery to create vivid images

throughout the stories. The best technique used is when there are many

questions which are left unanswered at the end of the story. This

makes the readers create their own conclusions about the reasons as to

why certain events occurred. Also, the use of the first person

narrative is effective in ghost stories because they give a clear view

of what happens and how the narrator feels.

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