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Compare and contrast thre enineteenth century short stories commenting on the author's use of gothic genre conventions of horror and the supernatural.

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Compare and contrast three nineteenth century short stories commenting on the author's use of gothic genre conventions of horror and the supernatural The three short stories that I have chosen to compare and contrast are: The Signalman by Charles Dickens, An Arrest by Ambrose Bearcy and Napoleon and the Spectre by Charlotte Bront�. All these stories were completed by the mid to late eighteenth hundreds. The Signalman is set by a railway in Britain, along a lonely stretch of a railway line in a steep cutting. An Arrest is set in America and for the most part in a forest. Napoleon and the Spectre is set in Paris. Gothic genre was one of the leading and most used genres of the nineteenth century and this genre is very prevalent in all three of the stories that I have chosen. The gothic genre originated from South America in the seventeenth century and the idea of it is to add certain characteristics to the story that alienate and distinguish a section of a story form the rest of the novel making it feel and sound more eerie. ...read more.


This setting partially occurs in 'Napoleon and the Spectre' with the setting being a dark room, which likens to the dark tunnel. The darkness also gives a sense of mystery to the author's writing. 'In the glow of an angry sunset,' the stranger re-visits the line to see the signalman. The word 'angry' is far from comfortable or romantic. This line also gives an eerie feel to the fading light and gives a feel that suggests that something is must and is about to happen that is dark and evil. An Arrest by Ambrose Bearcy is a story of a murderer who was awaiting 'his trial,' escaped by 'knocking down his jailer with an iron bar,' and went into the forest. It was night and the forest in to which, he entered was renowned for being wild and unsafe. He goes for many a mile and some how manages to exit the forest and finds an old road and on the road there stood 'the figure of a man, motionless in the gloom.' ...read more.


This suggests that the most hardened of criminals who has killed twice with ease has been haunted by a murder he has committed. The setting in which this novel is set makes for a scary story. This is because of the use of language in the gothic style like: 'the haunted man saw the visible embodiment of law,' this suggests a ghost who is telling a man the right thing to do but the word 'haunted,' makes the thing that should be done sinister in tone. The trees make for an eerie setting because no one knows what could be hiding behind the next one and so keeps the sense of mystery high and keeps it forbidding. The setting of this novel can be likened to Napoleon and the Spectre because of the dark setting and the ghost that enters and haunts the main character. Chris Currie 11 Temple ...read more.

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