How Do Pre 1914 Writers Create Mystery And Suspense Essay

1589 Words7 Pages
How Do Pre 1914 Writers Create Mystery And Suspense In Their Short Stories? Common themes in the stories of the nineteenth century are horror, mystery and the unexplained. This is because in the Victorian times, people were concerned with problems such as superstition and witchcraft. Common features of Victorian short stories are paranoid characters. The stories ‘The Withered Arm’, ‘The Red Room’ and ‘The Signalman’ teach a modern audience the results and consequences of superstition and paranoia. The Withered Arm was written by Thomas Hardy. It is about a woman who is trying to bring up her illegitimate son while she tries to overcome her jealousy as her sons father brings home his new beautiful wife. The main message that…show more content…
The main character in The Red Room is the visitor to the castle; however no description is given to the reader about this character. This is because H.G Wells wanted to leave the characters appearance to the reader’s imagination. However the reader is told one detail, that the visitor to the castle is 28 years old. ‘Eight-and-twenty years, said I’ The Signalman was written by Charles Dickens. The story is about a man who visits the railway line and meets a signalman who behaves weirdly and sees things that no one else can see. The message that Charles Dickens was trying to get across to the reader is that loneliness can do strange things to people, or alternatively he just wanted to entertain. The main character in this story is the signalman, however his name is not revealed to the reader. Charles Dickens has done this so that it is left to the imagination of the reader. In the Signalman the suspense is created by the mystery surrounding the Signalman himself, he is described as ‘a dark sallow man, with a dark beard and rather heavy eyebrows.’ By describing him as ‘sallow’ Charles Dickens makes it clear that he is an unhealthy person who is of an pale/yellowish colour. The Signalman is a mysterious character because at the end of the story it is revealed that the Signalman had died, however the narrator had been talking to him that very day. This leaves the reader wondering whether the Signalman was a ghost or even a

More about How Do Pre 1914 Writers Create Mystery And Suspense Essay

Open Document