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

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?

Extracts from this document...


'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.

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. How does Charles Dickens create suspense and fear in 'The Signalman?'

    The writer leaves us in suspense and fear when the narrator describes the signalman's features and the railroad. He describes him as a 'dark sallow man'; this tells us that he has dark coloured hair and pale, aged skin we also begin to get the impression that he does not go out much.

  2. The two short stories that I am going to compare are "Bang Bang who's ...

    as the man was isolated seemed never to leave the control centre so, maybe he did see illusions but illusions of the mind, but later we find that is not true. As the story progresses and the plot starts to develop we see that Fran seems very interested in meeting

  1. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    'John stood up...' was John ever down? I do not think he was. This is how we get subtle signs of the fact that the narrator is not actually dead and that parts of the story are not fact but her minds interpretation of them.

  2. How is mystery and suspense built up through "The Signalman" and "The Red Room"

    to be of a "human" nature, hence the suspense is then built. Similarly, "The Signalman", has also used such effect to build the atmosphere: "there must be a deception of his sense of sight". This explaining, that the Signalman has seen something very peculiar, and something that cannot be real

  1. "In his short story 'The Signalman' by what means does the author Charles Dickens ...

    2ZNu Visit coursework fe in fe fo fe for fe more coursework fe Do fe not fe redistribute 2ZNu The description given to us by Dickens is very distinctive: 'His post was as dismal a place as ever I saw.'

  2. Describe the ways Dickens creates mystery and suspense in 'The Signalman'.

    This turns out to be a temporary morgue, constructed to hold the signalman's corpse. Strikingly, the setting, which is the image of a grave, became the signalman's grave.

  1. Short Stories Essay

    The story then goes back into the present when they all go to Stoke Moran for detective work. The story is told by the first person narrator. The story is mainly told by Watson he tells the story about Helen and Julia Stoner, so does Helen.

  2. How Does Charles Dickens Create Suspense And Fear In The Signalman?

    looks towards the bell, but it doesn't ring and we wonder what he hears or sees and then when he gets up to look outside, we wonder what Is going on. Another example is when the signalman asks the narrator not to call out the words "Halloa, below there", this

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