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

Essay on the setting and atmosphere in two Victorian stories - The Signalman and The Red Room.

Extracts from this document...


Essay on the setting and atmosphere in two Victorian stories The Signalman and The Red Room are both under the genre of a ghost story. The object of these stories is to scare and to keep them on the edge of their seats as it were. The setting has a great effect on how scary the stories are. That's why they are normally located in dark forests, gloomy castles or damp dungeons. Also the amount of times something happens is often three, because it is believed to be a supernatural number. In The Signalman the suspense is kept up by making the ghost or spectre's reality unclear and also making the story quite a long process between when the narrator meets the signalman and when the signalman dies. Suspense in the Red Room is kept in almost the same way: by making the adventure down the extremely long hallway take ages to get through plus it doesn't help when the person walking down there is suspecting every shadow of being alive. In both stories the ending is not totally clear. In The Signalman you are not totally sure whether there is a ghost or just a lonesome middle-aged man with a slightly strange imagination at the end, but if the ghost was real it was not a friendly one because in affect the ghost killed the slightly mental signalman. ...read more.


The cutting then leads on to a tunnel, beside this tunnel is a red danger light where the signalman sees this spectre of his. The cutting is "as solitary and dismal place as I ever saw" as the narrator puts it. This means barely any one ever goes down there and certainly no one lives there except the single signalman. It could be because the place is so boring to the eye, the smell of dirt and the look of slime just like a dungeon or as the book puts it "this great dungeon" meaning really clammy, dark, dripping with mould and cracked, grey and boring walls of the valley. I imagine it a bit like the Grand Canyon but instead of having red valley walls it has grey, brown and a few old trees still just hanging onto life in poor soggy soil. Then we come to the red danger light and the deadly black entrance to the tunnel, which the story rotates around. The "gloomy red light and the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel" the gloomy pair seem to just say aloud 'use your imagination and see the ghost standing there'. The Red Room is set in an older age so naturally H.G.Wells picked a spooky old castle in which three ancient people live. ...read more.


Both the stories used cold thermal images like in the signalman there was a cold but strong wind consistently blowing through the cutting and in The Red Room that subterranean passage must have been cold. They both include candles the danger light and the signalman's lantern, the red room was full of them until the ghost or draft blew them out. In the signalman the sense of smell is used to describe that dirty earthy smell that occurs below normal ground level "it had an earthy, deadly smell" and in The Red Room the sense of hearing is found when the narrator thinks he hears a rustling noise. In both stories the setting is based around man made objects such as the cutting and the castle. The first person in both of these stories is the narrator; we see every thing through their eyes. Feelings are shared such as in The Signalman the narrator at one point thinks the signalman to be a spirit and in the very first line of The Red Room the dukes feelings are shared when he says "it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me. Andrew Gidney Centre No. 18301 Candidate No. 4053 Essay on the setting and atmosphere in two stories 27/04/07 ...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. Ghost Stories essay

    Also using third person narrative allows the writer to use more description and there will be less use of dialogue. The main character in the monkeys paw is described as a very kind, friendly man. Mr White is also described as being stubborn and sometimes selfish.

  2. Comparative Essay between "The Signalman" and "The Pit and the Pendulum"

    Also, on the next page, the reader is trapped in an atmosphere filled with uncertainty, as the narrator partially believes that there is a spirit in the tunnel. The following examples highlight this: "Resisting the slow touch of a frozen finger tracing out my spine" and "A disagreeable shudder crept over me".

  1. 'Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in ''The Signalman'', ...

    just how vigorous the echoes and daunting shadows were. In the latter case the sentence uses dramatic personification on the shadows, which create tension and reinstate the ghostly feel to the story. The sentence is also alliterative and striking. The setting and atmosphere seem dark and cold in lines such

  2. Examine the setting and atmosphere in three Gothic Stories: The Red Room by H.G. ...

    light in a very large room creates atmosphere, as well a metaphor such as 'ocean of mystery' and simile 'like a ragged storm cloud sweeping out the stars' is used. H.G. Wells uses a lot of emotive language to retain the atmosphere, 'I flung out my arms in a vain effort to thrust that ponderous blackness away from me...'

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

    It explains how the moral that it is branded with, fits the didactic tale that he has written. The doctor is portrayed as a philanthropic person, like Mr and Mrs Knifton within Collins' tale, as he cares for the lower class woman with compassion.

  2. Short Stories Essay

    thankful of his company being in the secluded area of where he worked. At first the signalman seems not to acknowledge the man but then shows signs of suspicion and uncomfort. The man goes right down the railway banking unto where the signalman is stood and is then welcomed into

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

    Once he has left the room he describes his feelings when he was in the company of the old people. He calls them odd and the surroundings were 'ghostly'. He then banishes all thoughts of ghosts from his mind so as not to distract him from the long walk through the 'chilly, echoing passage'.

  2. "The Signalman", "The Red Room" and "The Man with the Twisted Lip"

    When travelling to London, the train derailed at a high speed killing ten people and injuring many more, consequently influencing his style of writing. He personally knew of the terrible dangers of the new technology. Dickens used the fact that it was new technology and a new era that no

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