writers of the period; Dickens’ The Signal Man, The Monkeys Paw’ by
W W Jacobs, H G Wells The Red Room and The Dream Woman by Wilkie Collins.
LOOKING AT THE ATTUTUDES OF THE PERIOD, EXAMINE HOW A RANGE OF 19TH
CENTURY WRITERS CREATE MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE IN THEIR SHORT SHORIES
The rise in popularity of magazines in Victorian times and the era’s
fascination in the unknown and supernatural led to immense interest in
the short story genre. The key to the success of short stories is
holding the reader’s attention by the use of interesting and
meaningful subject matter, by using a condensed style of writing in
order to maintain suspense and intrigue.
The Victorian era saw great development in science which led to
conflicts in belief between faith and science, and rationalism and the
supernatural. Many of the 19th century short stories concerned the
supernatural. This essay will consider four of this type of story, by
short story writers of the period; Dickens’ ‘The Signal Man’, ‘The
Monkey’s Paw’ by W W Jacobs, H G Wells’ ‘The Red Room’ and ‘The Dream
Woman’ by Wilkie Collins.
These authors create mystery and suspense in a variety of ways; in the
location of the story, the technique of narrative blurring where the
readers’ imagination is allowed to conjure up its worst fears,
inconclusive endings leaving some vital questions unanswered, unseen
terror, mysterious characters and the type of language used. I will
explore all of these aspects of their writing.
The location of all these short stories plays a very important role in
setting the scene. They were written at the beginning of the Romantic
Period which gave rise to a taste for...
... middle of paper ...
...ecame very popular as
they came around at a time of change, and looked at the possibilities
of the supernatural which were unheard of before this time. There are
many methods of creating mystery and suspense; the effective use of
language and writing styles to create characters of intrigue and
mystery. Using locations to create a feeling of loneliness, isolation
and despair add to the suspense of a short story. Additionally, short
stories often include characters of mystery that the reader never has
the opportunity to learn more about, thus maintaining the feeling of
suspense. In my opinion one of the most effective ways 19th century
writers created mystery and suspense in their short story writing was
by quickening the pace and rhythm of the text by using short, snappy
sentences and chapters which cannot help to engage the reader and
quicken their pulse.
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