In this essay I will be comparing two (2) short stories 'The Whole
Town's sleeping' by Ray Bradbury (1950) and 'A Terribly Strange Bed'
by Wilkie Collins (1856). Both stories are about fear and they make us
feel fear or are supposed to; they make the reader scared or
frightened. Both stories have the same purpose, which is so scare the
reader. I am going to compare the way Ray Bradbury and Wilkie Collins
create tension, suspense, mood and tone.
In the first few lines of 'The Whole Town's Sleeping', the author
describes the setting for the story, "the little town was deep far
away from everything, kept to itself by a river and a forest and a
ravine", but before that he mentions that it is nighttime. Both
stories are set at nighttime. This is because if it were set in the
daytime it simply wouldn't be scary. The whole town wouldn't be
sleeping and the narrator wouldn't need a terribly strange bed to
sleep in. Collins has a different approach for the beginning of 'A
Terribly Strange Bed', he describes the characters and what they were
doing, which gives a different impression of the story, it doesn't
seem like a scary story at first, because there's no obvious signs
like in 'The Whole Town's Sleeping'.
Ray Bradbury uses recreation to create interest to the story "In the
downtown drugstore, fans whispered in the high ceiling air" He also
use metaphors and similes such as "There were two moons: a clock moon
with four faces" while 'A Terribly Strange Bed' doesn't have any
recreation, metaphors or similes in its opening but still manages to
Mood and tone are very important in both stories. Using certain
adjectives, like "warm summer n...
... middle of paper ...
...appens next. In Collins' story, you
are told what happens next, and you finish the story quite pleased,
like the narrator would be, instead of still scared like you are in
the other story.
Both stories are similar and different; the authors use different
methods to make the reader scared. The stories have some similarities
and others have differences. Ray Bradbury describes the scenery
whereas Wilkie Collins describes the characters. Setting seems to be
more important in 'The Whole Town's Sleeping' than it is in Collins'
story and tension and suspense is used very differently in the both
stories, Bradbury uses a sharp shock and then a steady buildup, then a
false relief before a final cliffhanger and Collins uses a strange
buildup to what seems like somewhat of an anti-climax and then re
establishes the tension, for a gentle relief and a settled ending.
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