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Compare and Contrast the two following short stories: 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens and 'The Red Room' by H.G Wells. How does the writer create an eerie atmosphere and a sense of fear and mystery in the stories?

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'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman' Essay Compare and Contrast the two following short stories: 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens and 'The Red Room' by H.G Wells. How does the writer create an eerie atmosphere and a sense of fear and mystery in the stories? In my essay I am going to be analyzing; 'The Signalman', 1865, by Charles Dickens and 'The Red Room', 1894, by H.G Wells. To discover and understand how the writers creates an eerie atmosphere and a sense of fear and mystery in the stories, I will be looking at the writers' use of setting, characters language devices and conventional features typical to the ghost story genre. 'The Red Room' was written in 1894, this was around the Victorian period. Looking at evidence, there is no real verification saying it is this particular time period, which is extremely peculiar. Everything in 'The Red Room' was described as old fashioned. "...and the door creaked on its hinges as a second old man entered." This quote shows how old and old fashioned the house was. An old man is a typical additional attribute in a story that adds to the ancient effect. This is how it illustrates 'The Red Room' is timeless, adding to its significance. As a Victorian story or a Victorian set story, the matter of fear is timeless. There is an extreme use of 'Gothic Literature'; it was significant in its time because it was popular in ghost stories at the time it was written. ...read more.


a theme to the short story, the theme of an olden style setting and characters; we as an audience recollect this information to appeal as an eerie atmosphere and trepidation. "The old man with the cough jerked his head back so suddenly that it startled me...'If' I said a little louder" This quote is showing the age of the characters; the fact that the characters are of such a high age is showing a link as to how old the red room must be, and to have such a reputation for such a long time, will build up a colossal reputation which inevitably creates an extreme eerie atmosphere and a sense of fear and mystery. H.G Wells has completed his task of generating suspense just through the characters themselves; "The old man supported himself by a single crutch, his eyes were covered by a shade, and his lower lip, half averted, hung pale and pink from his yellow decaying teeth" This quote proves that although H.G Wells has just put a description of the characters, he has generated to a great extent more. The characters in 'The Signalman' are different to 'The Red Room', the characters are the same in the sense that they help to create an eerie and mysterious atmosphere, yet they are completely different when it comes down to how they create an eerie and mysterious atmosphere. 'The Signalman' has just the main character as a young educated man yet in an isolated location, this could be seen as a reflection to the character itself. ...read more.


This is shown in the old nature of 'The Red Room'. In 'The Signalman' there is a lot of typical ghost story features, similar to 'The Red Room' there are symbolic additions, yet between the two there are different conventional features. "I walked by the side of the down Line of rails (with a very disagreeable sensation of a train coming behind me)" This quotation generates the feeling that all is not as it seems; there may be something additional to what meets the eye. This conjures a ghostly sense of fear. The fact that a rail line is mentioned is a superior symbol to have in the short story, walking along train tracks is dangerous therefore it generates the feeling of danger. Charles Dickens has done this extremely well to create a supernatural, eerie atmosphere and a sense of fear and mystery in the story. In conclusion, the techniques used in both short stories that I have analyzed and compared during the course of my essay, have been effective and illustrative to create a supernatural and eerie atmosphere in both short stories. The writer's techniques to create these atmospheres were demonstrated via 'short poignant' sentences. This technique was particularly effective as it was to the point and did not leave any loose ends; also it generated the appropriate atmosphere required for the outcome. Out of the two short stories, 'The Signalman' has the most eerie atmosphere and sense of fear as it includes a death in the story which immediately causes the story to develop into a mystery. However both authors delivered their short stories in a very effective and enticing manner. By Chris Messina ?? ?? ?? ?? Chris Messina ...read more.

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