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

Comparing two pre 1914 ghost stories to show how the writing creates and sustains tension. The two ghost stories that I have chosen are, "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Old Nurses Story" by Elizabeth Gasbell.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Year 10 Coursework Eren Kemal "Compare and Contrast two pre 1914 ghost stories and show how the writers create and sustain tension." In this essay I will be discussing and comparing two pre 1914 ghost stories to show how the writing creates and sustains tension. The two ghost stories that I have chosen are, "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Old Nurses Story" by Elizabeth Gasbell. The two writers have very different writing approaches "The old Nurses Story" has a slow pace which means that the tension builds over time. This story is also more hyper-bowl by this I mean everything is much more unrealistic. However "The Signalman" has a more realistic storyline, because they realize the ghost in the story ends up being a normal person. The pace in this story is almost the opposite of "The Old Nurses Story" because it goes in a slow then fast motion. So this story does not have one big climax like the other story, but it has small outbursts made by tension. The narrator in "The Old Nurses Story" is the Nurse. ...read more.

Middle

The setting of "The Signalman" is set on a train station. A train station is a very mood changing place. By this I mean, at one point of the day it is a very busy and energetic place but then at another point of the day it becomes a lonely, scary and ghostly place. The reasons it becomes a ghostly place is because there are many noises in a train station which can easily frighten a scared person. The characters in "The Old Nurses Story" are either extremely nice people or conniving evil people. Straight away you get a sense if a person in this story is good or bad. The narrator in this story also acts as a part of the story, as the story is being told as a past experience. All this adds to the mystery of the story because you want to know why this Nurse is telling this story and why are these people being split into two group's bad/good. The reason I find is that it is all there to sustain tension right to the end. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then the noises happen "and filled our ears; we, too, heard voices and screams". This makes you remember that the story has a ghostly plot and that the secrets are about to unravel. In comparison the plot of "The Signalman" has the ghostly effect throughout, because in the Victorian times they believed religiously that there were supernatural elements to the world, the signalman automatically thought that the strange voices he was hearing were supernatural. To conclude I think that "The Old Nurses Story" creates and sustains tension by using the factor of true life story and by leaving many unanswered questions in your head that were to be answered in the end. So in comparison to "The Signalman" where the tension is not all released at the end, in this story the tension is created and released in small clusters. Therefore because these two stories were written in the early 1900's the factor of ghosts and supernatural elements were always playing tricks on peoples minds and that was what happened in "The Signalman" it was just tricks on the signalman's mind. So it was the factor of the setting, the person who was telling the story, the way they created there tension and the way that the stories were written that made the writing create and sustain tension. ...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. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    This when read all together suggest that we are about to read about the first coming of the ghost, instead we find he is just describing the oncoming train. This is clever, since it builds up suspense but without giving away any story to the reader.

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

    Each main character is faced with a situation that leaves the reader predicting the ending, like in 'The Black Veil' where our 'young practitioner' concludes that the 'shrouded figure' wishes the doctor to intervene in a man's death, 'by the timely interposition of medical aid'.

  1. The Old Nurse(TM)s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Signalman by Charles ...

    a deception of his sense of sight; and how that figures, originating in disease of the delicate nerves that minister to the functions of the eye, were known to have often troubled patients, some of whom had become conscious of the nature of their affliction, and had even proved it by experiments upon themselves".

  2. Short Stories Essay

    I found this story very difficult to understand and didn't think it was written aswell as it could have been. More tension and suspension should have been used. The Red Room is a story set around a room which is supposedly haunted.

  1. We have been studying a selection of ghost stories, which were written before 1914 ...

    As scientists began to discover more about science, superstitions became less popular. People began to question superstition beliefs and even questioned religion. This affected the writers because people were questioning supernatural occurrences like ghostly hauntings. All the stories we have studied are therefore not traditional ghost stories.

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

    At this time we don't know who either of men is. We know it is a ghost story so, which one if any is the ghost? The author is making the reader question themselves which creates suspense in the readers mind.

  1. Using a selection of short stories written before 1914, compare and contrast their authors' ...

    the head, quite from the beginning of the book can be argued with, but there is a question as to whether the paper itself really did corrupt her, and whether her actions a the close of the story, creeping around the room, as the woman behind the wallpaper, are too extreme for anybody to have performed without supernatural intervention.

  2. How do pre-1914 writers create a sense of suspense, mystery and fear?

    Tension through out the story is built up in different parts but the story does keep up a steady pace of tension to keep the reader interested in the story so they don't get bored. The old people build the tension in 'The Red Room' by giving the warnings to

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