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

Comparing Two Ghost Stories, The Woman in Black and The Signalman.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparing Two Ghost Stories, The Woman in Black and The Signalman By Henry Cuthbertson Ghost stories are very common and popular across all ages and people all over the world. Readers are scared and fascinated by these books, and although it is hard to say why ghost stories are so popular, it is probably because the existence of ghosts can be neither proved, nor disproved. In Britain, especially in Victorian times, ghost stories were traditionally told at Christmas. During Victorian times ghost stories were extremely popular, as there were not many other forms of entertainment. Many Victorian authors wrote popular ghost stories, including Charles Dickens with 'The Signalman', and also the well known 'A Christmas Carol'. Even more recently, many authors are still writing successful and popular ghost stories, such as Susan Hill's 'The Woman in Black'. Readers are still fascinated and scared by these books. Although it is hard to say why exactly ghost stories are so popular among people of all ages, but it is probably because the existence of ghost can be neither proved, nor disproved, unlike other horror stories, or science fiction. ...read more.

Middle

Every time that Arthur Kipps saw the ghost she was always wearing the same clothes. Each time she appeared these clothes made a rustling sound, which adds to the atmosphere, and in a way, announces her presence, to the reader. Another event that is linked to the ghost is the noises out on the marsh which are heard, to the horror of the narrator. They are noises of a pony and trap walking out into the marshes, with a man and child on board, whom are pulled underneath the marsh and drowned. The ghost in 'The Signalman' is never seen in person by the narrator, but is described to him by the signalman himself. The ghost in 'The Woman in Black' is described as female, but the ghost that the signalman describes is in a male form. The signalman does not describe how the ghost looks, but describes its actions, showing how it covered its face with one arm, and violently shook the other, whilst saying "Halloa! Below there! For God's sake, clear the way!" What the ghost said to the signalman is the same as what the narrator said to him at the beginning of the story. ...read more.

Conclusion

The woman in black is obviously a malignant ghost, only existing to cause pain and suffering to others, and seeking revenge for the loss of her own child, on innocent people. In the case of the ghost who appears to the signalman, it is harder to say whether it is an evil spirit, or a benign one. In the end of the signalman, the signalman himself is killed, by a train, with the train driver carrying out the same actions, and saying the same words as the ghost had said. It is difficult to tell if the ghost was appearing to the signalman to torment and torture him, or whether it had been trying to save him, but did not have the means with which to do so effectively. I think that it was a benign spirit, which was trying to warn the signalman of his death, but could not do so. Both stories have greatly chilling atmospheres, and the fact that they are written in the first person means that you can really get to understand the emotions of the character involved, especially in 'The Woman in Black'. These stories are great examples of ghost stories, and both, although they are very different, follow the same literary tradition of many other famous ghost stories. ...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. The black cottage - review.

    As the narrator explains from his own view there was something peculiar about the manner of the signalman as if something was on his mind or as if something was wrong. A bit in the first paragraph of the story which leads you to this conclusion is where the narrator

  2. 'The Signalman' and 'The Black Cat'

    'The Black Cat' is a mixture of mystery and horror. The plot is explained by the writer who uses some background with the diary of the victim. It all revolves around a phobia which a man has of cats. He is haunted by a ghostly character of a 'Black Cat'

  1. I will be looking at "The Signal-Man" by Charles Dickens and "Farthing House" by ...

    by looking at a few elements: language, relationships also through artefacts around them. We can also tell pre 1914 ghost stories by the class division. Throughout the 1800's class division was a part of life and was taken very seriously, everything was divided.

  2. Looking further into the aspects of Gothic Horror, three short stories, 'The Black Cottage' ...

    Gaskell takes a sentimental view on her life and the loyalty to Miss Rosamond, due to the admiration she had for her mother, that had `sighed away her life' on her deathbed. This story line makes the reader feel compassion towards Hester and Miss Rosamond, as she is an orphan.

  1. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    about the story long after they have finished reading and keeps it in line with the rest of the story that is full of mystery. Dickens is almost asking us to make our own conclusions that, I feel, is the right conclusion to give the story.

  2. Pre 20th Century Prose- A Christmas Carol and The Signalman.

    When the narrator returns the next night, it is revealed that the signalman sees apparitions, and when he does something terrible happens. He explained that the first time he saw it, a major train crash happened soon after. Another time when he saw it a young girl died suddenly on one of the trains.

  1. A comparison between 'The Woman In Black' and 'The Signalman!'

    Both these two texts are written in the 1st person but Dickens uses his narrator in the Signalman to tell the story in the perfect tense. In, 'The Signalman,' the narrator is not actually haunted by ghost so he cannot describe his emotions and feelings whereas in the 'Woman in

  2. Short, entertaining stories were extremely popular within the Victorian era, and a number of ...

    number of unanswered questions about the woman, such as her mental health; ' "I am very ill; not bodily but mentally.".' The opening of Dickens' tale is even tenser in comparison to the other two stories, and in setting the scene Dickens' is already building up the atmosphere which is 'mysterious'.

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