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Discuss the ways in which Wells and Dickens create mystery and suspense in The Red Room and The Signalman

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Discuss the ways in which Wells and Dickens create mystery and suspense in The Red Room and The Signalman by Ryan Russell Although these two pieces of writing have different storylines, the authors still use the same techniques to apply mystery and suspense to their story. Mystery and suspense is mainly trying to keep the reader guessing throughout the story and wanting to read on to find out the answers and whether their guesses are correct. The techniques used are mainly theme, character, setting and narrative structure. There are many themes in 'The Red Room'. The first is noticed in the title, "The Red Room". The room is not red but actually dark. Red is a very strong colour and is generally associated with danger or warning. It makes you wonder why the room is called the red room and if it is actually red. This is a very emotive colour and you want to know how the red room got its name and whether there is a danger inside the room. The reason it may be called the red room by the old folk may be to warn others not to go in there. They may feel that by calling it the red room people may be wary of the room and not want to go inside. ...read more.


There is no answer of why he was warned and why he did not hear the whistle or the calls from the driver. This again lets the reader make up his or her own mind about the reasons. Using a vague, but sudden revelation at the end keeps the reader guessing right the way through the story and after it. I makes he or she decide their own opinions of what happened and they can believe what they want to believe and so will be satisfied with the answer. There is only one main character in 'The Red Room' and three minor characters. The main character is rather curious and inquisitive and is always looking for an answer which is just like the reader: "Show me this haunted room of yours" This shows the detective is very eager to find the truth about the room and is very arrogant, feeling that he is not afraid of any ghosts. When he reveals at the end that he has been in contact with fear it shows that even the man who feels he is so strong can be scared. This shows the reader how scary fear really is and any man has fear. This again makes the reader want to know exactly what the detective saw to make him so sure it was fear. ...read more.


Because he never sees the room fully lit you have no idea whether there is a ghost in there or whether it is his imagination. Despite from being dark it gives the impression that the room is small and claustrophobic. This may be one of the detective's fears and so makes him uneasy. It is also deserted and makes you wonder why no one has been or is, in there. The setting in 'The Signalman' is very dark and lonely. It is as though the signalman's only interaction with another person is when he talks to the younger man. This makes you wonder why he is all alone and whether it is his choice to stay away from the world. It is as though the setting is a different world belonging to the signalman. I believe that to make a story mysterious and full of suspense you need to create mystery because mystery in the present creates suspense in the future. You must not reveal everything to the reader and leave them to figure it out for themselves. It should keep the reader guessing right till the end of the story. I believe that both stories achieve this remarkably well and cover all of these points to make the stories full of mystery and suspense. 1 1 ...read more.

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