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Examine the settings and characters which the writers have chosen for their stories in 'The Signalman', 'The Man With The Twisted Lip' and 'The Red Room'. Consider the effects that each writer has created and how they contribute to atmosphere.

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Introduction

Prose Study Examine the settings and characters which the writers have chosen for their stories in 'The Signalman', 'The Man With The Twisted Lip' and 'The Red Room'. Consider the effects that each writer has created and how they contribute to atmosphere. 'The Signalman' was first published in 1865, written by Charles Dickens, 'The Man with The Twisted Lip', by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was published in 1891 and 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells was published in 1894. These are three stories, which create tense atmospheres. The Signalman was written nearly thirty years previous to the other two stories, society moved on so much through innovation and invention during this time that the stories were written in very different eras. Charles Dickens was influenced in his story, 'The Signalman' by a train crash, which he had been involved in just a year previous to writing the story. As the railway was a relatively new invention at the time, the story was modern and contemporary at the time of press. However today's readers are given a very historical context view with references to steam trains and old signal boxes being permanently, manually operated. ...read more.

Middle

The word deadly hear is very effective and fits in with horror. This implies killings and murder, these are scary things and so this sets the location as being scary as well. 'The man with the twisted lip' is no different as it also uses sounds and smells to create tension. The quote "whistled shrilly" shows this. 'The Signalman' builds up tension in parts by using long sentences and lots of commas within. For example "The nameless horror that oppressed me, passed in a moment,..." the use of these commas adds tension as it slows the reading down. It is describing a lot and the reader is always wondering what will happen next. After this long sentence comes a short sentence "The Danger-light was not yet lighted." This is short and simple to give it impact and emphasize the point. 'The red room' is very similar and uses a long sentence for the exact same effect. 'The red room' also uses similes and metaphors for example, "left an ocean of mystery", this is done to give the reader a better impression and understanding of what is being talked about. ...read more.

Conclusion

The three stories all build up atmosphere during their stories, using similar techniques to each other. The foundations used for building up the atmosphere are the dark; darkness is used to represent evil and scariness, creating a spooky atmosphere from the start. Descriptions are also widely used to build up the atmosphere. Things such as sudden noises are scary, making the reader jump, implementing a scare factor into the stories. Also smells and other sounds are mainly used to create atmosphere, the smell of death will imply evil and increase the atmosphere of the story. I think that the use of the darkness in the short stories is the most effective, as everyone instantly recognizes fear and evil with the dark. The stories are all just as applicable now as when they were written, as they all use the same basic techniques that would still be used today to create atmosphere and enforce fear onto the reader. Also the element of age does not affect them, if anything it just creates more atmosphere, for example 'the signalman' is very outdated with steam trains but this interests the reader more, and creates more atmosphere as the age is associated with evil, spirits and death. Robert Bentham 11.1B ...read more.

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