This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Ways In Which Wilkie Collins Builds Up A Sense Of Mystery And Suspense In His Short Stories

2303 words - 9 pages

The Ways in Which Wilkie Collins Builds Up a Sense of Mystery and Suspense in His Short Stories

In this essay I will examine the ways in which Wilkie Collins builds
up mystery in suspense in three stories; 'A Terribly Strange Bed',
'The Black Cottage' and 'The Ostler'. I will closely compare these
stories in four sections; language for description, characterisation,
sentence structure and overall structure, using suitable evidence from
the text to support these ideas.
======================================================================

In 'A Terribly Strange Bed' an awkward, unwelcoming atmosphere is
described; "mute, weird tragedy", "the quiet in the room", "strangely
dulled". The gambling room is described as a dark and dreary place and
there is a sense of foreboding that something dreadful may occur,
because the narrator is isolated.

The description of the setting in 'The Black Cottage' is similar in
that the isolated feeling depicted on the first page describing the
scenery makes the reader wary of the absence of help and therefore the
danger of living on the lonely moor; "Curiously dark dingy look",
"lonely", "solitary". However there is also a sense of security in the
description of the cottage itself; "stoutly and snugly built", giving
some feeling of safety.

Similarly in 'The Ostler' a sense of mystery is also built up, but
instead Wilkie Collins uses pathetic fallacy. Here the rain and the
wind create an unnerving atmosphere. Although at first nothing
particularly unusual occurs, this, like the other stories; 'A Terribly
Strange bed' and 'The Black Cottage', creates a sense of foreboding,
because the reader is aware of Isaac's ill-luck. The description of
the inn where the main character, Isaac Scatchard, has his dream also
builds up suspense; "lonely roadside inn". This too creates an eerie,
uninviting atmosphere, because this lonely place is surrounded by
mystery.

The characterisation of the old soldier in 'A Terribly Strange Bed'
creates an unpleasant image for the reader; "goggling bloodshot eyes",
"hoarse voice". However, the narrator is not worried about his
appearance; "These little personal peculiarities exercised, however,
no repelling influence on me". This suggests to the reader that the
narrator is quick to befriend and put his trust into a complete
stranger and maybe a little foolhardy. He is also described as a;
"suspicious specimen" which builds up a sense of mystery and suspense,
because the reader is immediately suspicious of this character.
Furthermore there is also a threatening atmosphere in the gambling
room created by the description of the other men in the room;
"haggard", "desperate" and "down to their last sou". The men are
described as misfits and this gives the impression that they are very
repulsive looking and the reader...

Find Another Essay On The Ways in Which Wilkie Collins Builds Up a Sense of Mystery and Suspense in His Short Stories

The Ways that the Director Builds Suspense and Scares the Audience in the Film JAWS

2704 words - 11 pages The Ways that the Director Builds Suspense and Scares the Audience in the Film JAWS The film JAWS was directed by Steven Spielberg and is about the struggle of men trying to defeat a great threat in the shape of a shark. It is set in small town of Amity in 1974.This is a classic horror film structure imitating for example, Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' (1963). From normality comes fear. The main part of the film is set

Compare 'The Signalman,' by Charles Dickens, and 'Lamb to the Slaughter,' by Roald Dahl and discuss how both authors generate a sense of suspense in the stories

802 words - 3 pages 'The Signalman,' is a nineteenth century supernatural short story. 'Lamb to the Slaughter,' is a twentieth century crime short story. Both have a twist in the tale. In this essay I will look at how the authors create and maintain a sense of suspense throughout the texts.Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1919. He was educated at a boarding school for boys. His harsh treatment there led him in later life to write stories of cruelty and revenge

John Collier and his short stories. Compares the short stories with a common theme

2107 words - 8 pages in 1972 entitled The John Collier Reader. His literary style reached beyond his native country and became popular in the United States.John Collier's writings are full of surprises. His short stories combine an element of horror as well as love which are focused on the relationships of the young and old. Collier is notable for lightly carried erudition, literary allusiveness and quiet wit, according to Anthony Burgess. Anthony Burgess, a novelist

Hardy's Portrayal of Women in His Short Stories

1992 words - 8 pages Hardy's Portrayal of Women in His Short Stories Thomas Hardy was a major novelist and poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 'The Wessex tales' are a set of short stories, which are based in the 1830's - 1840's although Hardy wrote them many years later. They are very much based around where he grew up and the society he lived in

Anton Chekhov’s Use of Characterization in his Short Stories

831 words - 4 pages Anton Chekhov is a Russian writer; he writes short stories. In his short stories he relies on characterization to make his points about a character in few words. Some believe that since no build up of exciting events happen his stories are meaningless. However, Chekhov’s stories are thought by others to be enjoyable. While others think they’re a waste of time to read due to the lack of events happening; I think Chekhov focusing on characters

Explore the ways in which Owen shows you the futility of war in his poems

1343 words - 5 pages 'Explore the ways in which Owen shows you the futility of war in his poems'Wilfred Owen was brought up in a very devout household, but it wasn't until he left his mother's house that he became skeptical of the role that the Church played in society. Owen enlisted in the January of 1917 and fought in the Battle of Somme, which was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. The

Explore the ways in which Wilfred Owen shows you the Futility Of war in his poems

1375 words - 6 pages is a metaphor and it creates imagery in the readers mind. Owen starts to talk about the creation of the world, the alliteration of the ‘clays of the cold star’ emphasises the sense of coldness before life began. In war death overcomes soldiers who become weak, therefore soldiers have no life to carry on and joining war becomes pointless, if death was going to overtake them. In conclusion Wilfred Owen has successfully reached his points across

Discuss the ways in which two writers you have studied enhance their stories through the exploration and inclusion of lies, deception and betrayal

926 words - 4 pages and betrayal to McDermott caused his death. Later in the novel, Grace contradicts certain things she mentioned at the trail, for example, not having seen the dead bodies, but then admitting to taking the earrings. Holes in Grace's story become more and more evident during the course of the novel which, just like "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" adds to the mystery of this novel.In the novel, even though Grace seems to be an expert at deception

“Larkin rarely presents women in a positive light.” In the light of this statement, show the ways in which Larkin portrays women in his poems

1007 words - 4 pages "Larkin rarely presents women in a positive light." In the light of this statement, show the ways in which Larkin portrays women in his poems.Many poems in Philip Larkin's 'The Whitsun Weddings' are connected through one common factor: Larkin's seemingly contradictory attitude towards women. Although in many of his poems, it can be claimed that Larkin presents women rarely in a positive light, dismissing them as insignificant as a whole, there's

Graham Greene: The Destructors, A Shocking Accident, and The Blue Film. This is a biographical essay on Graham Greene, which critiques as well as explains three of his short stories

2463 words - 10 pages for several government agencies. He would travel much during this time and learn an extensive amount about war and politics. All his experiences would eventually be incorporated into his writings.Three works of the short story genre that Graham Green created that are worthy of review are The Destructors, A Shocking Accident, and The Blue Film. All three stories have a common characteristic. This distinguishing factor is a character in each that is

Hemingway's Underdeveloped Women Vs. Defective Men In His Short Stories

524 words - 2 pages Ernest Hemingway's terse writing style often causes his works, and more specifically his characters, to be viewed as overly simplistic. A thorough prodding and analysis does reveal the lack of depth in his females, but allows the gems of his work, his male characters, to be thoroughly interrogated. The reoccurring male to female relationships that exist throughout a number of his stories contrast the empathetically understandable females with

Similar Essays

How Arthur Conan Doyle Creates An Atmosphere Of Mystery And Builds Suspense In The Speckled Band

1880 words - 8 pages misjudgement on Holmes' part could be tragic. Hence, the atmosphere of the story is by this stage charged with tension and fear. Holmes then proceeds to clarify upon the whole mystery and reveal the ''elementary'' reasoning which has brought it to a close. It is customary for the detective to only reveal his methods at this point to keep the reader in suspense till the very end. The precise nature of the crime and

Analysis Of The Ways The Director Builds Suspense And Scares The Audience In Jaws

3944 words - 16 pages Analysis of the Ways the Director Builds Suspense and Scares the Audience in Jaws We studied the film “JAWS”, which was made by award winning director Steven Spielberg. ==================================================================== “JAWS” was based on Peter Benchley’s number one best-selling novel in 1974. The Plotline for the film is about a police officer, a scientist, and a grizzled sailor who set out

Suspense In Short Stories Essay

995 words - 4 pages Suspense is one of the most important elements of storytelling. When one reads a story the setting is a very important key to creating suspense for the reader this is very crucial for short stories because they have a shorter period for the reader to get intrigued. Many of today’s modern world readers prefer a fast moving intense drama, which is filled with plenty of character drama. This in terms will grab the reader’s attention as well as

The Ways Dickens Creates Mystery And Suspense In The Signalman

2846 words - 11 pages Describe the ways Dickens creates mystery and suspense in The Signalman 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens, also known as 'No1 Branchline', is part of the collection of short railway stories that are included in 'Mugby Junctions', published in 1866. These stories appear to have been written post the tragic Staplehurst, Kent train crash, in which Dickens was involved, but escaped unhurt. Following the accident, Dickens suffered from what