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Discuss the similarities and differences between "A Christmas Carol", "The Signal Man" and "The Redroom", and include details about how the writers build up tension.

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Introduction

Discuss the similarities and differences between "A Christmas Carol", "The Signal Man" and "The Redroom", and include details about how the writers build up tension. In this essay I will be discussing the similarities and differences of the three ghost stories I have read. They are "A Christmas Carol" by Dickens, "The Signal Man" also by Dickens and "The Redroom" by HG Wells. In summary "A Christmas Carol" is about a selfish and greedy man who is visited by three ghosts to help him change his future for the better of many people. "The Signal Man" is about a signalman who mainly stays in his little box and he is visited by a ghost who behaves in a peculiar manner, in the end the signalman is killed in a tragic accident. "The Redroom" is about a room which a man visits and he is shocked by a surprise inside the room, though there is no visual appearance of a ghost. There was only a presence of a spirit which was only thought to be there as when the candles were lit they would suddenly extinguish when there was not even a slight breeze. I am now going to be focussing on the different stories. I will first start with "The Redroom" ghost. In the room suddenly after midnight the candles started to go out one by one then the ones in four opposite corners went out then later on all the candles are out then the fire goes out. ...read more.

Middle

The cold had become intense'. Also there was an old church tower, 'with a gruff old bell which looked down at Scrooge out of a gothic window'. This relevance of this weather is that it sets the scene for a horror story. What is learnt about Scrooge's rooms is that they are gloomy and are used for business. They are dismal and dreary, 'They were a gloomy suite of rooms... rooms being all let out as offices'. The signalman is made to appear nervous and frightened by him saying 'when you have found it, don't call out! And when you are at the top don't call out!' The signalman is made to seem tired and anxious by 'hollow eyes'. The signalman was being tormented by the ghost by 'it calls to me, for many minutes... "Below there! Look out!" It stands waving to me. It rings my little bell'. The signalman has a premonition. It is 'there is danger overhanging somewhere on the line. Some dreadful calamity will happen'. The signalman is predicting his own death. The reaction of the audience is that they feel sympathy for the signalman as he knows he is going to die. It also creates suspense and anxiety as the audience wait for the death of the signalman. The signalman's state of mind is of pain and 'was most pitiable to see. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also in the story is a gap between the young man all alone in the darkness to him being found in the morning which creates a sense of mystery and leaves you to wonder was there a ghost or was it not, you just do not know. "A Christmas Carol", the setting and characters were described in an eerie and horrifying way that is traditional of a ghost story. The story was well detailed though in places I did not know where the characters were or what was happening. I did not find this frightening, though the third and final ghost was the most terrifying character of all the ghost stories as the ghost 'was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head', also the spirit did not speak nor move. "The signalman" had a sense of supernatural events, like when a young woman died instantaneously in one of the compartments, this however might not have had anything to do with a ghost. Also there is insufficient evidence to prove the existence of a ghost, he could be imagining it, like the narrator said 'this figure must be a deception of his sense of sight'. There might be a ghost or maybe there was not, therefore I did not find this ghost story horrifying. 9 1 Helen Golding ...read more.

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