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Comparison between Three pre 1914 Short Stories; The hand - Guy De Maupassant, The signalman - Charles Dickens, and The red room - H.G Wells.

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Introduction

David R Barnard Comparison between Three pre 1914 Short Stories. The hand - Guy De Maupassant The signalman - Charles Dickens The red room - H.G Wells In The Hand, the action is started by way of the townspeople listening to Judge Bermutier. He then mentions that he once dealt with a case that was unexplained and had to be dropped from investigation. Some women ask him to tell the story of this case and so he proceeds in telling the story. He starts by telling the people that he used to be judge at a mountain town called Ajaccio. He says that most of the cases involved vendettas and heroism. He tells of how one day he learned of an Englishman who had moved into a little villa on the bay. This Englishman had engaged his servant in Marseilles. This man was a very alone person and went rifle practicing every morning as well as a morning walk. ...read more.

Middle

Occasionally the man would lash out at the hand in an attempt to destroy it, he kept three revolvers in the room near the hand and always locked all the doors when he went to bed. One morning, in her line of work the maid went to open the windows and found Sir John dead. The body had lacerations to the neck that looked as if they had been made by iron spikes. The hand had gone and the chain had been ripped clean off, there was no explanation that the Judge could provide. In The Red Room, it starts off with a man, in the first person, explaining how he doesn't believe in ghosts. The people around him are described in great detail, but we still don't know who they are. He says he has lived twenty eight years and has never seen a ghost. The old woman says "A many things to see and sorrow for"; this is an attempt to heighten tension and suspense, creating the startings of an atmosphere. ...read more.

Conclusion

Soon afterwards the man who is the main character goes to see the signal man and learns he has been killed, "I said, 'Below there! Look out! Look out! For God's sake, clear the way!'", this is what the driver of the train that killed the signalman said, it is also the greeting the man said to the signalman on their first meeting. In all these stories the main way of scaring the reader is tension and suspense. Nowadays this probably would not be considered to be scary but some of these themes have been spread to modern times in films and books. Tension in The Hand is created by a mysterious character and death, much like in The Signalman, where the man kind of predicted his death without knowing it. In The Red Room, tension is created by the meticulous detail given of the characters, the room and the atmosphere. All these books use pain or death to create horror, this is old style horror and I like it. ...read more.

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