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

Both the Phantom Coach and the Red Room are Victorian ghost stories, however they arrive at different conclusions about the supernatural. How do the writers portray this.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Both the Phantom Coach and the Red Room are Victorian ghost stories, however they arrive at different conclusions about the supernatural. How do the writers portray this and what do these stories tell you about the changing attitudes to ghosts in the 19th Century? During the Victorian era, there was much scientific discovery and scientific explanations more importantly. People felt that everything had a scientific explanation. The idea of something that could not be explained with good logic or understanding came across as frightening which is a key motive for horror; the unexplainable. Because a great amount of the worlds land mass (1/3) was ruled by the British Empire, people were thirsty to conquer more and more. I would imagine the idea of something that is unexplainable and unstoppable would appear unconquerable to the Empire. It is this idea that makes them feel vulnerable and thus scared. Both the ghost stories 'The Phantom Coach', by Amelia B. Edwards in 1852 and 'The Red Room' by H.G wells in 1896 are both Gothic ghost stories written in the Victorian era of 1832-190 yet they both portray their explanation of the supernatural in different ways. 'The Phantom Coach uses the 'living dead' as a frightening theme and the use of peoples nightmares. The contrasting theme in the 'The Red Room' is the imagination and the power of the mind to scare the reader. ...read more.

Middle

The red-eyed man acknowledges his presence and yet still gives no answer to his question. This is a sign of disrespect for him. His 'red eyes' symbolize evil. When it is described cleverly by Wells as 'shot another glance', the reader gets the impression of fear. Shot is a very powerful word, which usually results in the death of a character. It is almost as if he is now marked for death and prone to the horrors of the supernatural. The red-eyed man is in the shade. This shows that he is surrounded by black, which gives connotations of mystery and deception, which is scary as he will be unpredictable. Another link between the two stories is the way both Wells and Edwards make the journey tedious for the main character to find a way out (as in "The Phantom Coach") or a way in (as in "The Red Room"). "You go along the passage for a bit,' said he, 'until you come to a door, and through that is a spiral staircase, and half-way up that is a landing and another door covered with baize. Go through that and down the long corridor to the end, and the red room is on your left up the steps." The man giving directions uses the words 'for a bit'. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'The Phantom Coach' James Murray plays the main character, he is a young barrister who has been married for only 4 months and likes hunting grouse. This shows he is upper class as the sport is a notorious upper class pastime. The author uses James as a young man arrogant to the belief of the supernatural. The fact that this confident, upper class young man can be affected by the powers of superstition gives the reader the feeling that everyone is venerable to superstition. The dramatic contrast in the character of James Murray to the servant Jacob also emphasizes that young people are naturally skeptic towards superstition. Jacob is depicted as 'shambling', 'unceremonious' and 'reluctant' but uses his knowledge of the surrounding moors and stays out trouble because of his superstitions. Jacob is the contrary of James. The setting of the 'Red Room' is very much a gothic genre. The room itself is an isolated part of the country; a fire is present along with candles, shadows and elderly mysterious people. 'The Phantom Coach' was written in the early fifties-the starting point of the Victorian era for scientific discovery. This is why the readers accepted the idea of the 'living dead'. But further on into the scientific discovery's of the era. The idea of supernatural activities was not accepted, as it was believed that science had the answer for everything. 1 ...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 H.G. Wells 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 H.G. Wells essays

  1. 19th Century Victorian Horror Stories: English Literature Coursework: How 19th Century writers of horror ...

    White will do. He himself now becomes hysterical in his attempt to find the paw and reverse the wish - "groping wildly on the floor". More knocks echo through the house and Mrs. White pulls back the bolt on the door ready to greet her mutilated son.

  2. The Red Room and The Monkey's Paw(Compare and Contrast)

    These words tell the reader that what the guest is going to say is not good and that it fills the reader with suspense. The language is similar because they are both written in old language and powerful vocabulary has been used by each other writers.

  1. Gothic Horror stories. The three stories are 'The Signalman' written by Charles Dickens in ...

    Along with the old woman "The old woman sat staring". All of these characters are described to be ugly and weird looking. "his lower lip, half averted, hung pale and pink from his decaying yellow teeth." These grotesque characters are made to give the story an even unearthly feel, they also made the Lorraine castle seem more ghostly.

  2. Pre 1914 Prose Fiction - Stories of Mystery

    Conan Doyle has used the genre of a detective story to create a sense of mystery very well. Most of his Sherlock Holmes stories follow a very formulaic pattern, one that begins with a confused client coming to Holmes, having experienced something baffling and unusual.

  1. Compare and Contrast at least two Victorian Ghost Stories.Signal Man and The Red Room

    The author uses a lot of descriptive language, for example, "solitary and dismal" and "barbarous, depressing, and forbidding air". These words immediately create a gloomy atmosphere and the reader begins to imagine the character's dark, damp and dreary surroundings. The use of personification helps the reader to visualise the story,

  2. How do the writers of 'The Red Room' and 'The Whole Town's Sleeping' create ...

    Again, this shows us how darkness is far more frightening than being able to see and knowing what is there. Tension is built by how the young man expresses his feelings. To conquer his fear of the unknown the man places a candle in an alcove in the corner of

  1. What techniques do writers of the ghost genre use in order to create fear?

    This technique uses the readers subconscious fear of darkness to evoke fear. In the third story "Harry", the roles of light and dark are reversed. For the character involved, a light summer's day is far scarier than a dark midnight with no moon in the sky.

  2. What makes a good mystery? Using three of the classical mysteries read in class ...

    This is an example of pathetic fallacy, which makes the setting and the characters more vivid, and helps make a good mystery story. In third-person objective, we have no entry to anyone's thoughts or feelings. The author simply describes, without emotion or editorialising, what the characters say and do.

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