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Compare the signal man by Charles Dickens and if she bends, she breaks by John Gordon

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Compare "the signal man" by Charles Dickens and "if she bends, she breaks" by John Gordon Introduction In my essay I intend to compare the similarities and differences of many aspects of 2 short stories. "The signal man" a pre 20th century story by Charles Dickens and "If she bends she breaks" a post 20th century story. By John Gordon. They are naturally different because of their age. The signal man is pre20th century and is typical of the style of story from that era. If she bends she breaks is post 20th century so it has more modern words and is aimed at a younger audience. The stories themselves are similar in that they are both macarbre ghost stories. Titles The title to every story gives the first impression and can give clues as to what the topic of the story is or what will happen.The signal man is a plain boring title thay does not make people wish to read it.If she bends she breaks on the other hand is an unusual title , it is mysterious and makes you want to read on. But a good title does not necessarily mean a good story. ...read more.


Suspense Gordon introduces the main character striaght away in his story and tells us that there is something strange about him, "ben had felt strange". We get the feeling something strnage has happend to ben already because he cannot remember anything, "he could remember nothing beyond it", "yesterday was only a haze" and "he did not know whether it was morning or afternoon". Dickens story is mor descriptive and thegives us a hint that something unatural will happen by, the dark dismal and solatary settings that dickens discribes the signals staion post as being, he is all alone so and could be vuneralble, until the stranger comes along. For the rest of if she bends she breaks we wonder what is wrong with ben and what has happen on the ice, because the ice is spectre and is mentioned so many times, it makes us feel that the ice is a big part of this story,and something bad will happen with the ice, and, something bad has already happen with the ice. Similary, even thought a spectre is mentioned in the signal man, we are still unsure how things will end, because of te many other things that happen in the story, like the stranger, why is he there, and why is the signal man scared of him. ...read more.


In "the signal man", the signal man is killed when he goes to see the red light, he is killed by a trian. These are suprising because, "if she bends" is a childs story, and a ending like that would suprise a child, which makes it a very good story. "the signal man"'s ending, was not scary to me, but during th time it was written, would have been very scary to read. The purposes of each of the storys is similar, they both try and warn people of certain dangers, Dickens's wrote "the signal man" to show people how dangerous the industrial revoution was and to try and stop it, thought it didnt work, and Gordon wrote "if she bends" to warn young children about playing on the ice, and how dangerous it can be. Both storys leave the reader hanging as the story is cut short, this is effective because if there was to be a second story, they would be more likely to read it. Conclusion I preferred "the signal man" because eve thought "if she bends" had a good ending, i had already figured out what would happen in the first few pages, and "the signal man" ending was quite unexpected and the story was very good. I think that even though both were macabre storys, "the signal man" was more typical, because it showed a very grusome death. ...read more.

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