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Compare and contrast 'The Signalman' and 'The Darkness Out There'. In terms of Setting Atmosphere and Characterization.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast 'The Signalman' and 'The Darkness Out There'. In terms of Setting Atmosphere and Characterization. 'The Signalman' was set in an era in which Victorian language was still used, meanwhile 'The Darkness Out There' is a more modern age story. 'The Signalman', set 100 years before 'The Darkness Out There' was the story of a troubled man. His troubles are the main reasons for his death. The reader is unaware as to whether or not the Signalman's death was a consequence of his paranoia or a matter of coincidence.' The Darkness Out There' is an example of the cruelty within people, though considered a horror story, the only horror in this story is from the shock of Mrs.Rutter's lack of compassion for the German pilot.'The Signalman' and 'The Darkness Out There' are similar and different in many ways, I intend to compare two short stories, and in my comparison I will find the similarities and differences in the setting atmosphere and characterization. 'The Darkness Out There' was set in Britain a 100 years after 'The Signalman' had the same rural setting. ...read more.

Middle

Automatically the story has been set. The use of adjectives to describe the day also added to the height of standard of setting, by describing the bright day so intensely the writer adds suspense and climax. The setting in 'The Darkness Out there' changed from the warmth which was the bright day to the darkness which was 'Packer's End'. The setting in 'The Signalman' doesn't change as much. From the very beginning of the story the story's setting had a daunting sense of unease from the words the narrator uses to describe the cutting. 'The Signalman' was set in a rural lonely area; the narrator instantaneously describes the signalman's post. "His Post was in as solitary and dismal a place as I ever saw." By saying the post was "Dismal" the narrator sets the whole story. The lonesome post was also a very nasty dirty place. The narrator describes it as a "dungeon". The dirtier and haunting the signalman's post got the more the setting and the characters were revealed. The Signal box was the refuge from the daunting atmosphere outside, the Signalman's attitude added to the atmospheric tension; the two characters didn't spend their time outside ...read more.

Conclusion

Mrs. Rutter's persona was hidden throughout the story because as far as the reader knew she was a nice normal old woman, who'd lost her husband in the war. As the story unfolded her character slowly revealed itself. She was a heartless person, and her lack of compassion is the reason for the title of the story. Comparing the two stories I would say they were both excellent stories in their own separate ways. Though 'The Signalman' was a horror story it has a daunting atmosphere. The language though difficult to understand, added to the horror of the story. "Whether there may have been infection in his mind" certain words and phrases added to the atmospheric tension. 'The Darkness Out There' in comparison to 'The Signalman' wasn't as scary, but as effective in the message, both stories were questioning reality, in 'The Signalman' the question was to what extent was the spectre's appearance coincidence to the bad happenings that occurred or was it's sudden appearance an omen? And in 'The Darkness Out There' the question was, was Mrs. Rutter's Actions towards the German pilot, really as bad as Kerry and Sandra made it out to be? And would it have been an out of the ordinary thing to do during the time period? ...read more.

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