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Compare and Contrast the two short stories 'The Signalman' by Dickens and 'The Withered arm' by Harely.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the two short stories 'The Signalman' by Dickens and 'The Withered arm' by Harely 'The Signalman' and 'The Withered Arm' both use techniques to engage the reader. Dickens and Harely both wrote ghost stories in different ways. 'The Signalman' opens with dialogue and he introduces the two characters. Charles Dickens sets the scene which is 'a gloomy red light and the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel,' which means the area is hostile and dangerous. This type of setting tells us that something is going to happen. The atmosphere shows the story is a start of a ghost story. All of these techniques create tension and the strange behaviour of the signalman adds to the tension. 'The Withered Arm' also starts with dialogue introducing the three main characters, Farmer Lodge, his wife Getrude and Rhoda. The story is set in Wessex. We learn from the opening that Rhoda is a fading woman, which means that she is becoming thinner and thinner. ...read more.

Middle

She gives things to his mother Rhoda for him like shoes, which shows us that she is kind hearted. When her arm becomes withered she changes. She starts to become obsessed with her arm. She believes in potions and spells and she believes in superstitions, she is very desperate to find a cure for her arm because Farmer Lodge will not love her unless she finds a cure for her arm. She is desperate because she says 'If I could only again be as I was when he first saw me' she is not as caring as she was before, she says 'O Lord hand someone guilty or innocent person soon'. This is saying she doesn't care if someone dies as long as her arm is cured. She goes behind her husband's back to get what she wants done. In this story there are many supernatural events such as Gertrude's arm becoming withered. ...read more.

Conclusion

The other character in the story is the narrator; he is a strong character and does not believe in ghosts because there is no proof. He gets to no the signalman because he was passing by and he saw him down in the valley. Once he got to know the signalman he visited frequently because he was curious about him. When he visited him he was very supportive and caring as if there was something on his mind. The story is written in the first persons through the narrator. This makes the reader more involved and a part of the story because we see it from the narrators view. The characters use formal language. Charles Dickens builds up tension by implying things and not explaining them. The most enjoyable story is 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens because it involves the reader; I believe it is a key factor to make a story interesting. I also think that the story is interesting because there are twists in the story holding the reader in suspense. ?? ?? ?? ?? Shameet Patel ...read more.

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