Write an essay exploring how effectively elements of mystery are used in any three of the short stories you have studied. The 19th century is also known as the Romantic era. Romantic stories were very popular with Victorians, and many of the most well-known romantic short stories were written during this time. The romantic genre deals with feelings and emotions of characters. Mystery stories, in particular ghost stories, appealed to the romantics. These mystery stories are often known as gothic stories, and focus on the abnormal.
In English, I have studied three gothic short stories: The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs, Napoleon and the Spectre by Charlotte Bronte and The Signalman by Charles Dickens. All three stories deal with the realm of the unnatural, but explore it in different ways. W. W. Jacobs, a Londoner, writes about the White family who decided to keep a souvenir – the monkey’s poor – which Sergeant-Major Morris brings back from his travels. The monkey’s poor has unforeseen consequences, and after Mr. White makes his first wish, there is no turning back.
Charlotte Bronte, most famous for her novels Jane Eyre and Villete, writes about Napoleon Bonaparte, a real life soldier, being accompanied by a ghost on a frightening journey in which Napoleon needs all his courage and determination. Charles Dickens, also famous for multiple novels he wrote such as Oliver and A Tale of Two Cities, writes about a signalman being haunted by mysterious events, happening by his signal-box in a gloomy railway cutting with its dark tunnel, which fill him with foreboding fear. In every mystery story, including the three which i have studied, the setting in which the story takes place plays a key role in the story.