• 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. Comparing The Red Room, H.G.Wells, The Signalman, Charles Dickens, He Ostler, Wilkie Collins.

    is fear, because when people go into the room they expect something to happen and the shire torment that nothing has happened and could happen at any time is to much for the imagination and it can drive you crazy.

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

    For the setting in "The Signalman", it is in a railway cutting with a "gloomy, depressing" tunnel. There are steep sides with a zigzag path on it. Here everything just seems normal but you can feel that there is something suspicious about the place.

  1. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    '...Was a man indeed' this releases all the suspense but by now the reader is ready to receive the explanation to the story. 'With an ...something was wrong, - with a flashing self-reproachful fear that fatal...' The narrator knows that something has happened and is rushing to see what it could be.

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

    The young man finds the old people who look after the castle, frightening and depressing. We know this because he refers to them as 'grotesque custodians'. The word 'grotesque' suggests something that is disgusting and horrible. Possibly he could be referring to them in this way because he feels awkward with them.

  1. The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs, "The Clubfooted Grocer" by Sir Arthur Canon ...

    It seems as though this man has the greatest effect on the narrator because his description of him is the longest. He seems to be even more repulsive and deformed than the first two elderly people and this builds up tension because it makes the reader wonder how these people became like this.

  2. Compare three Victorian Ghost Stories

    The reason that the signalman died is a train dragged him and the signalman did not hear the other man warning him. He said "Below there! Look out! Look! For God's sake clear the way!" The man then explained more on what happened. "Ah! It was a dreadful time, sir.

  1. Compare The Red Room, The Signalman and The Ostler.

    Already the reader gets a very repellent, dank and wet, thermal and tactile images are thought of creating unpleasant impressions. "A rough zigzag descending path." So it's dangerous. Steep descent, leaving natural world far above. "It was as solitary and dismal a place I ever saw."

  2. In this essay I will compare the two protagonists in the stories The "Signalman" ...

    In the next part of my essay I will try to find other similarities. I will now look at the educational background of the two characters to see how they compare. I think the two characters have very different educational backgrounds.

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