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

Analysing 4 Short Horror Story Openings.

Extracts from this document...


Analysing 4 Short Horror Story Openings In this piece of coursework, I am going to analyse 4 Horror Story openings. The first is 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens. It tells the story of a man who comes across a seemingly normal railway cutting with a mysterious story to tell. The second is 'The Tell-Tale Heart' by Edgar Allen Poe. The main character, who is seemingly mad, has a grudge against an old man because of his 'vulture eye' and this drives him to take drastic action. For the third story, there is 'The Landlady' by Roald Dahl in which the main character is taken victim by a seemingly harmless Landlady of a small guesthouse. Lastly, there is 'All But Empty' by Graham Greene. In this story the writer finds a man in a cinema with a puzzling and inexplicable tale. The settings for all of the stories openings have something in common to link them together. 'The Signalman' uses very atmospheric words to describe the cutting, its surroundings and the time of day. The actual cutting is described as "extremely deep and unusually precipitate". These words give the reader the feeling that the cutting is forbidding and uninviting to the narrator/writer. The time of day that the opening is set is mid-evening, just as the sun is setting. ...read more.


The writer of "All But Empty" portrays the cinema as an empty place. He says it had "almost invariable, total emptiness". This links with "The Signalman" and "The Landlady" in this respect because it makes the reader think of the isolation the main character must be feeling. The music that is playing in the film he describes as "blurred metallic music". This makes the film seem as if it is of no consequence and he is not really watching it. This shows that the mans mind is somewhere else. He also describes the air as being "stale" which adds to the old feeling that we get right from the beginning. We tend to think of old things as being mysterious and this adds to the opening. In 'The Signalman', a lot of questions are raised as to the secretive nature of the main character. One of the questions raised is why doesn't the signalman answer when the writer, stood on top of the cliff, talks to him? It is obvious for the reader that he is confused in some way but it still leaves the question as to why and what is confused or worried about? This is shown when the writer writes "instead of looking up to where I stood on top of the steep cutting nearly over his head, he turned himself about and looked down the line". ...read more.


Another similarity between all of the stories is the way in which the writers have described the victims. They are portrayed as someone who is innocent and unaware of their fate. Billy Weaver in 'The Landlady' is described as 17 and that it is his first time in Bath. This makes him sound innocent and vulnerable. Sounds also play a large part in the stories. 'The Signalman' has a part where the train comes from out of the tunnel: "Just then there came a vague vibration in the earth and air, quickly changing into a violent pulsation". This perhaps is a forewarning to the sudden death that the signalman is about to meet. The way in which the stories are written is perhaps the biggest impact on how the stories make the reader feel. Charles Dickens has written the story so that there is not much dialogue in the beginning maybe showing that the two characters find it hard to communicate with each other. Edgar Allen-Poe uses a dramatic amount of punctuation in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' to make the reader realise how the killer is talking. The sentences are disjointed with lots of exclamation marks e.g. "True!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous". This is added to make the reader know how he is feeling. Amy Bramley ...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. Pro Studies Coursework

    been associated with fear and death, as we do not know what is beyond the darkness and our fearful reaction is to explore it, but in this story Wells uses personification to powerfully describe the darkness, to examples are: 'The darkness closed upon like the shutting of the eye', and 'The darkness sprang to its place'.

  2. Looking further into the aspects of Gothic Horror, three short stories, 'The Black Cottage' ...

    The fear and tension increases as Hester realises that the sounds are coming from the broken organ, which automatically gives her the instinct that it is a mysterious situation. The tension is also increased greatly with the bad weather; the `gusts of wind' and `stormy winter evenings'.

  1. In this essay, the openings of the four short stories, "The Signalman" by Charles ...

    When describing the tunnel, the writer describes it as carrying a 'deadly, earthy smell', which portrays the idea that there is something fatal about to happen (i.e. something 'deadly'). 'Oozier and wetter' are two terms used to give a better sense of atmosphere, and, whilst helping the reader picture the

  2. The Landlady and Signalman Comparison

    In 1866, England was going through and industrial revolution when factories and mines were growing at a phenomenal rate changing the landscape and peoples attitudes. Dickens was not in support of all this new technology of which railways were an example.

  1. What Elements Proceed in Making the Monkeys Pawa Successful Horror Story?

    This is intended to give the reader a chance to gather his emotions and leave them with a feeling of loss and loneliness. We are then left with a sense of curiosity as to what exactly the third wish was and what effects it would have.

  2. The curse of the full moon I looked out of the window. It ...

    We found in the room a gun that contained silver bullets and a pair of skeletons that looked like they had been there for centuries. We quickly took a DNA sample of the skeletons and exited through the back window in the room.

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

    The setting of the story effects the reader's response because in Lamb to the Slaughter, the setting is so normal and usual of an everyday household in that time. The reader's do not expect a murder to happen. The Maloney household is an unusual, unexpected place for a murder story.

  2. Compare the openings of "The Signalman" and "The Foghorn"

    remains that both Dickens and Bradbury are explaining the lives of two lonely men with a hidden secret. Bradbury use of language is very effective and is used to capture the reader's attention and draw him/her into the story. He uses repetitive speech "Deep, deep down in the deepest depths"

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