Depictions of Danger in Frankenstein and The War of the Worlds 12th Grade

Both The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley are novels that introduce dangers in the form of an ‘enemy’ – the details of which enemy are largely unknown by the reader. Wells and Shelley, though dealing with enemies in different forms (one a single monster, another a squadron, one man-made and the other beyond man’s comprehension), both present the threat of this enemy in regards to tension and suspense. Whilst reading about this ‘enemy’, the reader is made to feel anxious by use of ominous retrospect in the narrative and the gradual reveal of the monster at hand. Both monsters are introduced slowly and seemingly unthreateningly, but these details combined with the ominous foreshadowing in the narrative develops the idea that there is a threat at hand. The reader is offered little or gradual information about the enemy and as a result, both writers create tension surrounding what is unknown – making the reader feel the threat of danger in a visceral way, as though the reality of each narrative was their own.

Both authors use ominous foreshadowing to indicate to the reader that there is a constant threat – but a threat that the reader knows little about just yet. Use of retrospect is integral to the...

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