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Analysis of The Red Room and The Signalman

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Introduction

I have been studying two short stories written in the 1890s. The first one is The Red Room by H G Wells written in 1896 and the second one is The Signalman by Charles Dickens written in 1876. The Red Room was written to show that there could be nothing wrong with something but it could still cause fear by building up tension by using sound, colour, language, characters and sentence structure, and then using this tension to make you read on through the story to find out what happens to the narrator and what happens to the room which he is investigating. What happens in the red room is that the narrator is sent to investigate the red room which is meant to be a fearful room in Lorraine castle but the only thing to fear is fear because he puts his own candle out and in his fear of that he puts his other candles out because he is running around to try and relight the candles. The Signalman was written to show how someone's own fear can cause then to take their own life by not listening to warnings by his friends. What happens in the Signalman is that the signalman keeps seeing death and warnings of death and he wants to know how he can help the people who he sees dying. ...read more.

Middle

he does this because talking in this manner creates fear, you do not know why they won't go, and what is special about this night.' He also uses repeated sentences to build up tension by. The first fourth fifth and fourteenth paragraphs say 'the man with the withered arm says "it is your own choosing.' This is done to emphasise that the man with the withered arm feels that he has no responsibility for what the man is going to do. Wells also uses character to build up tension by talking about a duke who had died in the room, 'in which the young duke had died.' This shows that the people who entered the room haven't returned. He also builds tension by not giving the characters a name, 'the old woman sat' and 'said the man with the withered arm.' This makes you want to read on to find out who the characters are. The also wants to make the old people look old and crippled, 'the man with the withered arm.' He does this to make the old people look grotesque and deformed. The author uses sentence structure to build up tension by using repetition, 'it's your own choosing' is repeated three times in the first two pages, he does this because repeated phrases can build up fear which makes you want to read on. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both of these stories create tension through sound images although they are written by different people in different times. The stories both make the reader want to read on by using this tension. The stories also use colour images, 'the moonlight coming by the great window on the grand staircase picked out everything in vivid black shadow or silvery illumination.' From the Red Room and, 'so steeped in the glow of an angry sunset' this shows that both stories build up tension b using colour images. Both stories also depend on use of language. For example both stories use old English, 'eight-and-twenty years' from the Red Room and, 'HALLOA! Below there!' From the Signalman. Another main characteristic that builds up tension is sentence structure for example both stories use repetition, for example. 'It's your own choosing' is repeated three times in the first two pages, and 'HALLOA! Below there!' is repeated twice in the first two paragraphs. In conclusion both these stories make you want to read on to find out what happens to the characters and the narrator. Both stories are interesting and build up tension and fear by using sound, colour, language, characters and sentence structure. This makes the reader read on to find out what happens. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE English Short Story Coursework The Red Room and The Signalman - 1 - ...read more.

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