Fear and Tension in The Whole Towns Sleeping and A Terribly Strange Bed

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Fear and Tension in The Whole Towns Sleeping and A Terribly Strange Bed

The essay i have written is a comparison of two short stories. One written by Ray Bradbury in 1950's and titled "The Whole Towns Sleeping". The other was written by Wilkie Collins in 1856 and entitled "A Terribly Strange Bed".

"The Whole Towns Sleeping" is about a middle-aged spinster called "Lavinia" 37, who goes to the cinema with her friends while a mysterious killer, is at large. She is fully convinced that the killer would not strike again for another four weeks because a murder has just occurred, and they seem to happen at intervals when 'the moon is full', and superstitiously then 'men do strange things' because of
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"The Whole Towns Sleeping" is set in a small town in Illinois, U.S.A. A ravine runs straight through the middle "The ravine cut the town in two". The ravine is the mysterious area of the town like a 'black dynamo', surrounded by 'secret mists' and 'odours' of a "rank greenhouse". The description of the ravine creates tension and shows it to be a constant threat with its dark and gloomy images.

In "A Terribly Strange Bed" the main part of the story is set in the back street of a seedy gambling house in Paris. The atmosphere is described, "Here, there was nothing but tragedy - mute weird tragedy. The quiet in the room was horrible". This builds up tension effectively, and creates an effective image of the gamblers as they watch in silence, and their desperate need to win to survive.

Lavinia Nebbs the protagonist in "The Whole Towns Sleeping" is described as "very straight and slim", a typical spinster who has lots of confidence in herself, and quite sensible, but occasionally craves excitement, which inevitably will lead her to make errors in judgment.

She insists that she stays at her own home and declines several offers of a bed for the night, even though 'The Lonely One' is still on the loose, and despite warnings she insists she will still walk home alone. These
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