• 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 ways in which Charles Dickens and Ray Bradbury create Tension and Suspense in "The Signalman" and "The Crowd".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

20. March. 2002 Compare and Contrast the ways in which Charles Dickens and Ray Bradbury create Tension and Suspense in "The Signalman" and "The Crowd" Both "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Crowd" by Ray Bradbury create a brilliant feeling of tension and suspense. Each story is worked around events that seem inexplicable. The protagonist characters and the reader becomes unsettled as these events unfold. Each story contains accidents, death, the supernatural, and an underlying sense of an unresolved mystery. Charles Dickens, writing in the nineteenth century, uses fear of modernization, mechanization and the belief in ghosts to his advantage, appealing to the fear of the unknown and the future. With the Industrial Revolution, and its new developments in science and technology, Dickens introduces the fascination with supernatural phenomenon. Ray Bradbury, writing in the middle of the twentieth century, uses a different pace, and a change in lifestyle to incite fear rather than addressing his own personal views through literature as Dickens does. However the impact of cars and television are aspects of modernization and are used to extend the sense of fear about the misunderstood. Making a later impact, the Cold War and its general political climate of suspense involving different countries and different leaders can easily be compared to the confusion and tension of this short story. ...read more.

Middle

For example "dripping wet" and "jagged stone" are used. The daunting ness of an object in question is also used, such as "great dungeon". Colour and smell are used too along with abstract adjectives to create an ideas of the setting as lonely and not nice, "a gloomy, red light" and "deathly smell" with deathly being an abstract adjective. In "The Crowd", at first setting is used to compare the normally of the surrounding area with the traumatic and rapid event of a car crash. The setting is as having "summer grass" and "lined pavement" it all seem quick peaceful and pleasant. A bit later on in the story, extra detail is given in describing the faces of the members of the crowd as the protagonist character clearly remembers them well. They are described with a "vast wrongness" definitely adding a sense of wonder and fear to the story. In both of these short stories there are senses of fear and suspense, which were cleverly written in the stories by Dickens and Bradbury. In "The Signalman" these sources of fear and suspense are raised by the loneliness and coldness of the two main characters, the narrator and the signalman. Where they don't fully know or really understand one another they are slightly fearful of each other, especially the signalman towards the narrator, however we, the readers, don't know why at this point in the story. ...read more.

Conclusion

This climax led us to wonder about the crowd's true nature, but is resolved in mystery as was a great interest at the time the story was written. These two stories are full of irony. In "The Signalman" the very first line, said by the narrator, "Halloa! Below there!" is the warning given to the signalman by the driver wanted to move, however the signalman, entranced by the supernatural force fails to move and is killed. The story tells us how the signalman was a well-educated man who was good as his job and very careful to stay away from line but gets killed on the line. This is also very ironic and misleading. However the largest irony of this story is that the signalman saw a premonition of his own death on the line. In "The Crowd" the irony is that the very thing Mr. Spallner wanted to find found him. In both of these stories the characters see ghosts but die before they can prove their ideas causing a lot of fear to readers. However neither character really considers why they are seeing these ghosts and this leads to their deaths. These stories are both very similar, playing on our fears of the supernatural and the misunderstood. Both talk of issues that plagued the time and culture in which they were written. Times of great change. Dickens in the Victorian fear of the modern and Bradbury in the twentieth century fascination with mystery. By George Rose, L5G 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 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?'

    It also says ' and an oncoming rush that caused me to start back, as though it had force to draw me down', which indicates that the mysterious object has the power to pull the narrator down. The effect this gives to us is a more dramatic, powerful paragraph that would intrigue us to find out what was happening.

  2. How does Charles Dickens create suspense and tension in the signalman?

    if we use the direct form of speech in the story it wouldn't create the same tense atmosphere, and the interpretations would be different. But because the signalman isn't giving a reply to the narrator the narrator has to think what reply he would get from the signalman.

  1. Examine the ways in which Charles Dickens builds suspense in 'The Signalman'

    There is blatantly more than meets the eye to this man, and we know that we'll find out more about him as the story progresses. He is described by the visitor as having a 'remarkable' way of looking, although he 'couldn't have said what'.

  2. How does Dickens create suspense in

    The use of first person narrative creates an air of suspense. First person allows only one point of view to be shown throughout the story so the readers are in suspense as the plot of the story unfolds to the narrator.

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

    The narrator now thinks that he is destined for the same haunting as which the Signalman has received. The unexplained ending leaves us in a very tense and unsettled state. Our many questions are left unanswered. As I have said earlier, throughout the half term, we have studies several short

  2. Compare ""The Signalman"" by Charles Dickens and ""The Darkness Out There"" by Penelope Lively. Show

    In "The Darkness Out There" we see Sandra and Kerry having to listen to quite a surreal story. Sandra, who is the character the story is directed through is still quite young and naive does not realise how vast the world is and how things may not be what they seem.

  1. Compare how suspense is built up in 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens (1812-1879), and ...

    The narrator soon notices that the signalman is also afraid of him. We find out this information when the narrator writes, " I detected in his eyes some latent fear of me" What reason does the signalman have to be afraid or the narrator?

  2. Both 'The Signalman' and 'The Darkness out There' have unexpected endings. Compare the way ...

    The setting builds up tension by its description. The setting in a horror story is very important because it sets the scene for all other events. In 'The Signalman' when we are first introduced to the setting we are given a picture of 'a steep trench' and 'an angry sunset',

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