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Gcse English Coursework: A Comparison Of Three Short Stories From The Victorian Era. This Essay Compares The Way The Three Stories Use Settings To Add To The Story's Atmosphere.

4508 words - 18 pages

For this piece of coursework, I will be comparing the way that three short stories written before 1914 use setting and atmosphere to add to the story. The three stories are:-·The Red Room by H.G. Wells (1896)·The adventure of the Engineer's thumb by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)·The signalman by Charles Dickens (1866)I will be analysing all three stories individually, and doing comparisons between them to show what I have found out about the techniques and styles used in each of the stories.These three stories all use suspense very well to build up the atmosphere in the story and keep you reading. The Red Room uses descriptive and ghostly terms throughout to give the reader a mental picture of the setting, and make them want to find out more about the mystery of the Red Room. The way the ghostly and frightening atmosphere is built up gradually over time also adds to the suspense in this story. The ending leaves the reader guessing as to what the mystery is in the Red Room, as the man in the story never finds out. Again, this leaves the reader in suspense even after they have finished the story.The adventure of the Engineer's thumb works differently. It uses a gradually unravelling plot to keep the reader gripped and make them want to keep reading. There are also twists at key points in the story to grab the reader's attention; events such as the discovery of what the hydraulic press in the house is really used for and the house owners' sudden attempts to murder the engineer. The ending of the story solves some of the mystery, but leaves other parts of it wide openfor the readers to guess at. Although the 'hydraulic house' is found and destroyed, the reader is left guessing as to where the forgers have disappeared to , and who will fall victim to their operation in future.In The Signalman, the suspense is built up through recurring ghostly visions that the Signalman has. The language used by the narrator to describe the Signalman's visions tells the reader that he is witnessing something strange and ghostly, but makes the reader think about what it actually could be that he is seeing. Then at the end when his visions come true, it adds even more fright through a large twist in the storyline; the fact that the Signalman's vision of someone or something dying at the exit of the tunnel by his box happens to him.The three stories are all similar in their use of description and gradually unravelling plots, but they do differ in the nature of their mysteries. Whereas the Engineer's thumb is a mystery firmly set in reality with real people and real events happening, the Red Room and the Signalman both use a supernatural mystery to keep you in suspense. All three stories use suspense very well though, as at some point they all keep the reader guessing as to what will happen next.The choice of setting in the Red Room may have been due to a mystery similar to the one in the story happening to the author or nearby where he lived and...

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