Horror can be delivered through many different ways, be it through
gothicism, the psychological aspect or the industrial view on horror.
Bram Stokers writing involves gothicism. He wrote many novels and
short stories and amongst them was “The Squaw”. I think that Stokers
vivid and graphic descriptions of death add more aspects to his
writing than just gothicism:

“but the stone fell right on the kittens head and shattered out its
little brains.”

People usually associate gothicism with creepy haunted houses or
underground passages and secret stairways and that gothic writers
focus more on describing the scene than the characters and death.
These are true, but not necessarily to stoker. He sets the scene well
and he also describes the manner in which the characters died with an
exceptional likeness to life. Unlike the other authors that we have
studied, Stokers characters have no clear psychological uncertainties.
Elias P Hutcheson comes across as a very arrogant and racist
character, and when he kills the cat´s kitten, the cat is set out for
revenge fueled by the hatred of Hutcheson:

“Launched herself at him as though hate and fury could lend her

I think that stoker drops subtle hints foreshadowing the fact that the
cat is going to get revenge on Hutcheson:

“Her eyes looked like positive murder”

Stoker delivers an exceptional description of the Iron Virgin which
makes his writing all that more creepy and imaginative:

“Placed in such a position that when the door should close the
upper ones would pierce the eyes of the victim, and the lower ones his
heart and lungs.”

I don´t think that the reader would have any sympathy for Hutcheson
when the Iron Virgin kills him and they will think that he has finally
got his comeuppance:

“Had pierced so deep that they had locked in the bones of his
skull. And tore him out of his own prison”

Edgar Allan Poe sends the horror genre in a new direction that is
somewhat different to that of Stokers methods of writing horror. He
does so by dealing more with the psychological viewpoint and what´s
going on in the characters head rather than the surroundings. In Poem´s
writing there is not so much focus on atmosphere but more on

In “The tell-tale Heart” we are immediately introduced to a
protagonist who has a very nervous and indeed mad state of mind. This
is suggested to us as he tells the reader that he hears voices from
out of this world:

” I heard all things in heaven. I heard many things in hell.”

He denies his madness and I think that this covering up of his madness
is a most definate and obvious sign of madness.

Similarly, in ‘The Black Cat´ the protagonist´s mind becomes
progressively worse and more perverse through his evident alcohol
abuse. In just the same way, he tries to say that he is not mad:
“Yet, mad I am not.”

‘The Black Cat´ I think also deals with the imagery that Stoker
conveyed, not as well as him but he does so in such a fashion that the
reader recognises that it is a horror story which they are reading:
” Grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of
its eyeballs from its socket.”

In contrast to Stoker, Poem´s stories involve investigations from the
police that lead to the protagonists´ madness being shown full on as,
under no pressure, they break down and confess to their crimes. At the
beginning of The tell-tale Heart, he tells us that he is cursed with
an acuteness of the senses: “. Of hearing acute.” And this is then
used later on during his confession. I think that he confesses to it
because he can still hear the heart beating under the planks:

” “Villains” I shrieked “dissemble no more! I admit the deed!-tear up
the planks!-here, here!-it is the beating of the hideous heart!”
As with ‘The Squaw´, I think that there is also revenge on the cats
behalf in ‘The Black Cat´. It is the cat that has driven him into
murder and it is then that cat that allows the police to discover that
he has murdered his wife and concealed her in the walls, by wailing
out. But, it is his fault for allowing the cat to wail out because it
was him, through his belief that he had got away with it and boasting
about it, that he hit upon the very same point in the walls where the
body was concealed. We saw this mental breakdown in ‘The tell-tale
Heart´ and now we see it again here. I think that the protagonist
shows his willingness not to be caught by after being caught by the
police murdering them as well.

In ‘The tell-tale Heart´, Poe uses a lot of repetition: “a very, very
little crevice”, “it grew louder- louder-louder!” and I think that
this is to put such an emphasis on it that the reader is made aware of
how thorough the murderer is doing things and also to get a sense that
you are there at the time with them.

Again a new writer and a new theme, which sends the horror genre in a
new direction. H. G. Wells writes about industrialism in horror. In
‘The Cone´ we are immediately shown that Raut is having an affair with
Horrocks wife and I think that this is apparent to Horrocks. Whilst
Horrocks is showing Raut around all the furnaces we are continually
told that Horrocks is holding on to Rauts´ arm extremely tightly.
Then, as they are crossing the train line I think what we see is
Horrocks attempting to murder Raut.

“Horrocks hand suddenly clenched upon him like a vice. And there were
a chain of lamp-lit carriage windows telescoped swiftly as it came
towards them.”

We get the impression that Horrocks tried to get Raut run over by the
train but then we see the opposite:

” I wouldn´t have had you run over for the world.”

The reader and Raut now do not know whether or not to trust Horrocks,
or suspect him for attempted murder. Is he trying to give Raut a false
sense of security? Horrocks talks about the blast furnace as: ” white
as death” and ” red as sin.” Again the reader and Raut have to wonder
whether this is just coincidence or is Horrocks hinting at something.
When Horrocks and Raut are at the cone and Horrocks is describing it I
find it interesting that Horrocks says:

” If you were dropped in it”

Moments after saying this Horrocks is then trying to kill Raut.
H. G. Wells´ horror is industrial and his horror is not dealt with in
the way that people expect horror to be written. He does write horror,
but not in the manner that everyone expects, his horror involves the
industry and machinery. I think that a good example of this is when he
is talking about the cone and he delivers it involving both industry
and the horror which people anticipate:

” It will boil the blood out of you in no time.”

This is good because he is showing that he can use and industrial
machine as a weapon. As with stokers and Poes stories I think that
there is revenge for a character in them. In this story the revenge is
for Horrocks on Raut for Raut coveting with Horrocks wife. Being
thrown into the cone by Horrocks eventually kills Raut. We see
Horrocks joy at this and we then also learn that he was killed for his
having an affair with Horrocks wife.

” Fizzle you fool! You hunter of women! You hot blooded hound! Boil!
Boil! Boil!”

In ‘The Lord of the Dynamos´, we see similarities with ‘The Cone´.
Obviously they are both industrial horror stories, but in them, I
think that it is considered that the machines are alive and in ‘The
Lord of the Dynamos´, even lifelike:

” And yet not motionless, but living.”
We also see similarities between the three writers writing. I think
that both Poesia and wells characters, especially in ‘The tell-tale
Heart´ and ‘The Lord of the Dynamos´ are mentally very unstable and in
fact quite mad. Also in this story asin The Black Cat, one of the
characters has a problem with alcohol abuse. Azuma-zi worships the
dynamo as his god, which is an obvious sign of madness, as no one
would worship a machine:

” He went and whispered to the thundering machine that he was its

The specific differences in this story to the others that we have read
are that this story involves religion. The religion being that
Azuma-zi thinks that the dynamo is his god. He thinks that the dynamo
is going to kill Holroyd for him, and indeed he does. There is a
symbolic conflict in this story and the conflict is that of science
versus nature.

In the end we have seen the genre of horror develop in three stages;
from the early gothic works of Stoker, on to the psychological theme
of horror with Poe, and finishing with the industrial horror element
of H. G. Wells.


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