• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A comparison between 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl and 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens.

Extracts from this document...


A comparison between 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl and 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens The opening scene of the signalman consists of wide-open spaces and lots of description to give you the feeling of desolation and isolation. This is emphasised by people on trains going past, getting on with their lives whilst he is stuck in a rut at this signal post. The signalman in the title is physically and mentally alone. He fills up his time with learning. In comparison the opening scene in Lamb to the Slaughter is a domestic scene but still one of loneliness. The main character, Mary, is very much alone. In the book the author focuses in on things like the clock, to emphasise the passage of time or the curtains. This emphasises the passing of time and the loneliness that Mary would be feeling at this point waiting for her husband to come home. The signalman is set outside with huge fields and rain to emphasise the loneliness whilst Lamb to the slaughter is set indoors but both the characters of the signalman and Mary are very much alone. ...read more.


This is mirrored by the way that the signalman feels that he is loosing control of the situation. Dahl does not give a certain place or time for the setting of Lamb to the Slaughter. This could be done on purpose as it is more a story of human nature than one of a place or time. The environment is domestic and Mary controls it. This is mirrored in her actions in the story because Mary is very much in control of the events going on around her in the same way as she has control over her environment. There is no difference in class between Mary and Patrick although Mary respects Patrick a great deal. There is no difference in class between Mary and Sam the shopkeeper, as they appear to speak to each other as equals. This could indicate a more contemporary setting as in Victorian times the shopkeeper would have been on a lower social footing than a police officers wife. ...read more.


Women only are really acknowledged to write children's books or slushy romantic novels. Both books seem to have a scorn for modern science. In the signalman this is demonstrated by the fact that although the train was the height of scientific development, it still crash. This shows a lack of faith in progress and science by Dickens. This is backed up by the narrator's belief in the ghost even though he states that there must be a logical explanation. In Lamb to the Slaughter this is demonstrated by the way that Mary outwits all the modern forensic tests by cooking the murder weapon. In conclusion, Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl and The signalman by Charles dickens both have similar points. In both the environment mirrors the control that the main character has over proceedings. They both seem to have distrust for modern scientific developments. However they both have many differences as well. The social structure differs as does the main characters degree of control. The overall theme of both the stories is also different with the main theme of one being the supernatural and the other being about human nature. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Signalman section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Signalman essays

  1. A critical comparison of

    The signalman is a vigilant but troubled man who has been seeing a ghost, and every time he has seen it a person has died on his line. The signalman has had one more sighting and no one has died yet, this creates suspense and tension.

  2. Compare and contrast the writers use of tension and suspense in the two short ...

    Dickens entertains us by wanting the reader to think that there is something out there that the human mind can't understand, so although he wants to entertain us his story has a serious purpose in scaring us and making us wary of the unknown.

  1. Comparing two texts - Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl and The Signalman ...

    The settings of each story were also very different. In Lamb to the Slaughter, the story is set in the 1950's inside a warm, suburban living room. We have one very important clue in the story which reflects the time period, "As the wife of a detective, she knew quite

  2. Compare and contrast 'Lamb to the slaughter' by Roald Dahl and The 'Signalman' by ...

    Dickens sets the story in Victorian times, which creates the atmosphere of being dark, dingy and scary. For example 'shadowed' this suggests to the reader that the Victorian times, created the atmosphere that they were dark and scary.

  1. Compare the two short stories "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Landlady" by ...

    As the narrator went down further along the path he became aware of an "earthly deadly smell" that was because the region never saw sunlight, the source of all life. The further the narrator passed down the path the more it seemed to be an "unnatural world".

  2. Lamb to the Slaughter – Roald Dahl

    The word 'giggle' makes her sound like a little girl at the fact that she has done something naughty and nobody would ever know. It's the last sentence that makes you realise how psychotic Mary Maloney really is. Mary Maloney is a six - month pregnant woman who loves her

  1. How do Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens show tension, fear and danger in the ...

    This creates a visual image and makes the opening of the story tense. Ernie's eyes are described as if they are glaring and evil-looking. The description of his lips makes the reader think that he lacks intelligence. This is because his lips are described as an animal.

  2. ‘The women in Black‘ and The Signalman

    Kipps does while he is there is go to the funeral of Mrs Drablow. At the funeral there is no one there apart from a women who sits at the back dressed in Black. Although this is a funeral my first instincts were that this was 'the women in Black'

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work