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Comparing the Signal man and monkey's paw (part 1)

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Comparing the "Signal man" and the" Monkey's paw" Introduction: Although both " The Monkey's Paw " and "The Signalman " were written in Victorian times, both stories show great contrast in showing us the way of thinking and acting in Victorian times. The authors also show very different methods of not only keeping the reader's attention but keeping the reader in suspense and on the edge of their seat. "The Monkey's paw" was written by WW Jacobs in 1901 right at the end of the Victorian period, the story is about a magical paw that is passed down to a family from an army sergeant, the paw grants the man who is holding it 3 wishes but at a very severe consequence as the family learns in time. The story changes our view of the Victorian times. We know Lifestyle in Victorian times as men being in command and women staying at home at all times but the monkey's paw totally contradicts that. "The Signal man" was written by Charles Dickens in 1865 midway through the Victorian period; in the story a rail track signal man is getting premonitions of supernatural spirits that predict horrible incidents and death. ...read more.


"She then waited as patiently as her sex would permit", this shows us that women were expected to be more patient and take a back seat to all questions and arguments. "The Monkey's paw" opposes the basics of Victorian behaviour as shown above. Not only women in the story acted differently but the men did too. Men in the Victorian period are supposed to be strong and masculine but Mr. White in the story acts weak and feminine. "The old man smiled faintly and dropped a senseless heap to the floor.". This showing us the very un masculine actions displayed by Mr. White. This was considered to be irregular or out-of-order at that time. The Victorian mind was a very inquiring mind looking for new information and loved to explore new worlds with different cultures and people. "I'd like to India myself". This shows us that new land and places were of extreme excitement and pleasure for them. The Victorian's Inquiring minds didn't stop there they were also very fascinated by supernatural mysteries and ghost and spirit stories. ...read more.


It was made through clammy stone that became oozier and wetter as I went down. ... When I came down enough upon the zigzag descent to see him again. I saw that he was standing on the rails on the way by which the train had lately passed". This description of the Signalman's setting shows us the creepy air and lonely tracks on which one man lives alone, this emphasises his loneliness. "The shorter perspective in the other direction terminating in a gloomy red light, and the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel. In whose massive architecture there was a barbarous, depressing and forbidden air". This showing the suspense being built by the writer through the gloomy and spine chilling description of the area, here the writer is very detailed in describing the entrance to the tunnel, emphasising on its forbidden air and gloomy features. All this of course to support the claim of the terrible and lonely place the Signalman lives in. Descending upon the zigzag path the narrator is shown as if he is descending into hell itself. He mentions the gloomy entrance and" clammy, oozy and wet stone" that got worse as the cutting got deeper. This gives you the feeling as if this cutting is a gateway into hell! ...read more.

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