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A Comparison Between 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman'

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Introduction

A Comparison Between 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman' T hese two stories, though different, have in common their writers intentions which is to keep the reader in suspense. We can see this in many places in the stories, and an example of this relates to the settings and surroundings throughout. The Victorians were very interested in Gothic Literature and this is shown especially in the 'Red Room', where Wells borrowed applications such as ghosts, castles and supernatural beings. Furthermore we can see that the settings have been adapted and chosen to suit the character of the story. In 'The Signalman' for example, we can see a mixture of modern and supernatural settings, these reflect the location, mainly being a deep, steep edged railway cutting, right at the edge of a deserted tunnel. As in 'The Red Room', the location reflects the character. This is shown by having a gigantic medieval castle and long winding corridors, which then lead's to the epicentre of the story. More over, in both stories, we can see that they are both set in the same type of time frame, this being during the day and usually with dull surroundings such as a dreary, dark sky above. ...read more.

Middle

The suspense in each story was gradually built up, and maintained throughout. Examples of this can be seen in 'The Signalman' especially in the first part of the story where the narrator leaves the reader on a cliff-hanger; 'hallo! below there'. This type of suspense is also in 'The Red Room', except with different levels, as the suspense is gradually added. This gives a slow climbing build to a huge climax. To build on the general suspense, the writer added repetitive words throughout, which is affective as it keeps reminding the reader of previous events in the story. This gradually built the tension, and this keeps the reader alert and interested throughout the story. Furthermore the narrators use irony especially the narrator in 'The Signalman', as he used irony to fear the main character by using a ghost. We can concur that both endings in the stories were satisfactory, as they both had a good 'summing up' last paragraph that kept the reader interested right through to the end. As for twists in the endings, there is a well written line which gives a totally different prospective to the whole story, this happens to be in 'The Signalman', when the phrase 'hallo below there' was used. ...read more.

Conclusion

'The Red Room' gives a more full on view to supernatural beings, by having the main action in the story surrounded by ghosts. In the modern day though, people aren't as worried about ghosts and the after life, which suggests they are a lot more sceptical towards it. To conclude, I think that each story has a very strong and emotional line of events which is very effective to all readers; especially to the Victorians. Also I would think that they saw the two stories as more of a scary horror book which contained recent worries and events which they could personally relate to. Each author had very different stories in mind, but one thing remained in both and that was the aim to keep a rich level of suspense throughout. As a modern reader though, I think that the stories would be seen as more of adventure books rather than horrors and that each story comes across with its own personal mood. To summarise, I can see that there are many similarities between the two stories especially ones that would relate to the Victorians beliefs. ...read more.

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