Horror and Suspense in Bierce's Work Essay

Horror and Suspense in Bierce's Work Essay

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Horror and Suspense in Bierce's Work

A novel is divided into different chapters and usually has different
plots to focus on. In a novel there are lots of characters and the
time scale is constantly changing throughout. Because there is more
than one theme and there are different messages coming across of
combined themes, makes the novel denser and more complicated to
understand and to take in all the description.

Ambrose Bierce wrote a lot of short stories and some we have studied
and analysed. In a short story there is usually only one plot and the
event usually carries on in the same setting. There are usually a
couple of characters and one hidden message which makes the short
stories more to the point and very direct.

As I was analysing the short stories by Bierce, I realised that most
of the characters in them were male and most of the stories contained
physicians. Looking over Bierce’s background I was able to see that
Bierce was brought up in a male dominated area where women were
secondary characters. I assume this is why Bierce’s main characters
are male and the female characters only play a secondary part in the

He had a son who committed suicide and a son who drank himself to
death. I think this is why Bierce put physicians in most of his
stories. The physicians don’t know when the victims of the stories are
about to die, so maybe Bierce could relate to these because no
physician could warn him about his sons dying.

Throughout Bierce’s stories he has a good use of horror and suspense.
He does this by being very concise and to the point. He also makes
more impact on us as he uses pathetic thalacy. He does this by
describing the weather in such a way that reflects on the mood o...

... middle of paper ...

...he misery of others.’ This ties
in with us laughing at the misery of Henry Armstrong.

Others find it horrifying as they would be terrified of being buried
alive and in those days it was quite common for medical students to
dig up the corpses. This also ties in with Bierce’s definition of a
grave, which I also found in ‘The Devil’s Dictionary.’ A grave is a
place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical

Reading these stories of Bierce’s I found to be very interesting and
thoroughly enjoyed. I think it is clear that Bierce was trying to
scare a lot of people and effectively did as the description, the
language used, the mixed feelings it sends out and the context of his
writing creates a lot of horror and suspense.

Some may say that Bierce is sick others say that he is very
intelligent. Bierce- brilliant or disturbed?

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