• 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 the writer presents the supernatural in the short stories: The Signal Man and the Red Room!

Extracts from this document...


Sarah Rayner 10SH Thursday 28th Nov 2002 Compare and contrast the ways in which the writer presents the supernatural in the short stories: The Signal Man and the Red Room! There are many different ways in which the supernatural are interpreted in the two short stories. In the openings of the stories, the first similarity was that they both open with direct speech. This shows apprehension which makes the reader read on. Most stories have an introduction so these seem very different already. As soon as you read on you see that both of the stories will be focusing on the theme of the supernatural. This is shown by the word 'Tangible ghost' (The Red Room) and is also shown by the actions of the signal man looking the opposite way to which the original noises were first heard. This creates a sense of something abnormal. In the Red Room, the attitude of the old people set the tension and suspense due to them insisting that there is some sort of supernatural being, living and haunting under their roof. The guest calms the tension when, by the way he phrases his words, he tells them that he is not scared and will never be scared of any non-living creature. The tension is brought up to a higher level when the old people mention that they will accept no blame if anything happens to him whilst he is alone upstairs; however, in The Signal Man, the tension and suspense is created with an entirely different approach. ...read more.


The way that he didn't answer at first made us wonder what he was focusing on or whether he just didn't want to answer. In a way this builds suspense by the actions of the man. Referring to the red room again, when the guest leaves the old people, one of the old people continues to use repetitive phrases but this time it is a different phrase. "It's your own choosing!" The description of the hall way he is about to walk down creates tension because the way that it is described, you wouldn't really want to walk down there on your own especially after sitting through a lecture, well not when the old people told you things like that. Whilst walking up to his room his room he ponders over how odd the three pensioners are. So far through both of these stories, they show that they are very similar in the way that they both open with direct speech and how similar they are with raising the tension and suspense. They are both good as far as the first pages go, however you will have to read on to see how much more the tension can build up to. The signal man tries to accuse the other man of being seen earlier down the track. The man said he looked familiar and that was his excuse for not answering the first question the man asked him. The signal man describes himself as having worked so much that he has formed into the way he lives. ...read more.


It makes the narrator quite angry because he would like to help him but there is no way he can do this. When they see another figure (the one that is sent to symbolise the end of the Signal man's life), this creates the most tension in the story, but even more so because it involved the main character and the readers will want to know if he survives. The narrator knows there is something wrong and so does the signal man in his own way, when they see the light... "With an irresistible sense that something was wrong..." The narrator cannot believe it when he finds out that the man is dead. Being annoyed with himself, he takes a walk to the first place he ever saw the signal man. He recalls the other times he had spoken to him and the times the man had told him about the figures. He thought he was stupid for not believing him but he didn't want to believe it. The tension and suspense is created in the last few scenes when he recalls the phrases the signal man said, he then realises what they meant and wondered if there was anyway in which he was able to prevent this from happening. The signal man was my favourite out of all of the stories. It gave me more of a sense as to what was happening and in my opinion; it had more suspense and tension but also had a much better story line! By Sarah Rayner 10SH ...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. Charles Dickins the signal man

    Automatically this provokes a fear as at night there is dark, both of these are two common fears, also the idea that he goes for walks at night as slightly disturbing and puts a "?" over the character. As well as a disturbing sense that night gives, most people are

  2. 'Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in ''The Signalman'', ...

    But it also shows that in the evening darkness there is colour and life above, but none of this in the trench below; presenting contrast and unfamiliarity in this one setting. In another quote the setting is described in the following way, 'a rough zigzag descending path...cutting was extremely deep and unusually precipitous.'

  1. The supernatural has always been a popular ingredient in literature. Looking at two short ...

    We can see this in such remarks as, "I expect you'll find the cash tied up in a big bag in the middle of your bed" and, "something horrible squatting up on top of the wardrobe watching you as you pocket your ill-gotten gains".

  2. Compare two short stories written before 1900. Explore how the writer’s have crafted their ...

    To make himself more comfortable of his surroundings, the young man "Began to walk about the room, peering round each article of furniture" to make sure nothing or no one was there that could harm him. He also makes sure "of the fastening of the door" to reassure himself that nothing could get-in.

  1. Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in 'the signal ...

    The man with the twisted lip has social context. One reason for this is that at the time of writing the notorious Jack the Ripper was at large in the East end of London. Knowing that the police never managed to catch such a dangerous killer, the public were scared.

  2. Dickens ghosts. Malevolent or Benevolent

    This displays a rather arrogant attitude towards his victim, who then says "Not quite...I must finish this pipe first", trying to delay his suicidal tendencies. "Look sharp then" says the figure; this suggests the spectre is anxious to leave quickly and indeed he states "they're doing a pretty brisk business

  1. The signal man and the Red Room are both pieces of unique gothic literature

    As we progress through the text we learn much more about the hallway, the quote 'Porcelain china man..... Whose head rocked silently' Portrays an eerie atmosphere, frightening the reader. The narrator also notices some 'sconces' this contributes to the ancient feel, it is an archaic word (not used any more)

  2. Suspense - The Signal Man

    rational entity runs out of explanations, which greatly adds to the suspense. Alliteration is a device widely used this genre of story. It can be used to create a spookier atmosphere, especially when describing the scene, i.e. "Down in the deep".

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