• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing and Contrasting the authors presentations of the supernatural in "The Signalman" and "The Red Room"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparing and Contrasting the authors presentations of the supernatural in "The Signalman" and "The Red Room" The focus of my essay will be on HG Wells' 'The Red Room' and Charles Dickens' 'The Signalman'. These are two of a variety of short stories which I have studied .I aim to see which of these short stories are most effective at portraying supernatural to scare the reader. To briefly summarise each story, 'The Signalman' is of a man who is haunted by a warning of the future. 'The Red Room' is of a man who is out to prove that the room that is believed to be haunted is not. The origin of the gothic story was in 1764 in the United Kingdom, when the first supernatural fictional text was finished, 'The Castle of Otranto' by Horace Walpole. Gothic tradition had started properly when Ann Radcliffe released her first book 'The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne'. ...read more.

Middle

Although this is not a literary device the number three features in most ghost stories. As in 'The Red Room' three mishaps take place in and around the room, and in 'The Signalman' three appearances of the ghost bringing three tragic incidents. It creates an uncertainty that something more will happen. Repetition is used a lot in short stories, creating a theme, like in 'The Signalman'. However in 'The Red Room' repetition is used to smaller effect such as to make an air of worry, '("This night of all nights!" said the old woman.)'. This line is repeated a paragraph later. 'The Signalman' is a story of a signalman who is haunted by the warning of unfortunate happenings, in the form of the ghost, to come in the future that he cannot comprehend. He is visited by a by who shouts the words 'Halloa, bellow there'. This is what the ghost shouts to the signalman to warn him. ...read more.

Conclusion

However in 'The Red Room' repetition is used to smaller effect such as to make an air of worry, '("This night of all nights!" said the old woman.)'. This line is repeated a paragraph later. Unlike 'The Signalman' there is a frequent use of adverbs such as 'whose head rocked silently as I passed him, scarcely startled me.' Adverbs are used in this piece to build a vivid image in the imagination. On the other hand, 'The Signalman' displays a lack of description. In conclusion, I find that 'The Signalman' was a more effective supernatural short story than 'The Red Room'. On one hand 'The Signalman' had a distinct lack of description, but on the other hand, 'The Red Room' had a fault in strength of irony. As I said in my description of what makes a good short story, I described irony as what is needed to make a ghost story what it is. I find that as 'The Red Room' does not have a shocking enough ironic twist to scare the reader, therefore I found 'The Signalman' more effective. Rory High 10GD 10R2 The Short Story - English Coursework ...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. Pro Studies Coursework

    This adds to the fear which in turn sucks the reader into carrying on the story. Wells uses darkness to continuously to scare the main character, but it also scares the reader as we do not wish to think that the darkness can be so influential and brutal for example

  2. Compare and contrast three 19th Century gothic short stories commenting upon the authors' use ...

    This can intrigue the reader and catches attention. It also introduces both characters straight away, in contrast with "An Arrest." The narrator is not omniscient and finds out what is happening as the reader does, adding to the feel of mystery and the unknown. At the end of the story, it is found out that the visions of

  1. Comparative Essay between "The Signalman" and "The Pit and the Pendulum"

    This makes the reader feel more and more disturbed as the word "fray" reminds the reader of mentally "frayed nerves" as well as resembling the word "spray" from a spray of blood. Also, when the reader finds that his plan has failed, a sense of sorrow and despondency enters one's mind.

  2. GCSE English coursework: Short Gothic Tales

    He also tells the reader and describes the place as a type of architecture there was, which was a "Barbarous, depressing and forbidding air." He tells the reader what type of life the signalman has to go through with down in his post, which was "So little sunlight ever found

  1. Prose English

    This is created because of the quotation about his heavy eyebrows, which are usually created by frowning. Sallow skinned is often formed when you have no sunlight to the skin, which would make sense because he's shadowed between the two cuttings of land.

  2. Which is the more effective of the supernatural stories of "The Signalman" and "The ...

    When he does this it makes the reader think: Why is the supernatural figure here? As well as this the reader may also link the idea of supernatural figures to a murder or death of a major character, this creates suspense because the reader wonders where the murder or death

  1. Compare and contrast three nineteenth century short stories commentating upon the author's use of ...

    Looking in front of him he sees a distinct figure of a man standing before him, "indistinctly, the figure of a man, motionless in the gloom". These lexical choices, "indistinctly", "motionless", "gloom" is all used to add to the supernatural feeling of the story.

  2. Explain what makes a good mystery story, based on your understanding of 'The Red ...

    The three other characters build up the suspense more than the young man because of the mystery surrounding them. The three characters are strangely described as: "The man with the withered arm" "The old woman staring into the fire" "The man covered by the shade" These characters all create a sense of uneasiness about them.

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