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'Explore the way in which Westall and Dickens create suspense and mystery in the two ghost stories, "The Call and "The Signalman".

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Introduction

'Explore the way in which Westall and Dickens create suspense and mystery in the two ghost stories, "The Call and "The Signalman". Ghost stories have always been enticing to read, they originated in the Victorian Era. They usually present a message, and writers like Shakespeare used ghosts to create emotion in their audiences, for example the ghost of Banquo in Shakespeare's play Macbeth. The genre of ghost stories is to make the reader think. To think about whether there is life after death and to associate the ghosts with death and dying. No one can be sure what happens after death so this gives the writer an opportunity to make their stories believable. They use the fear of the unknown, suspense and superstition to create excitement and keep readers on the edge of their seats. They use the idea of the meeting of the two worlds (the dead and the living) and tension builds over whish will win. Ghost stories became popular during the industrial revolution period of Victorian Era. They were popular because it was a subject science couldn't explain, a rarity during the industrial revolution. The response to the new scientific and industrialised Britain was a rise in spiritualism. ...read more.

Middle

Both Meg and Geoff are scared by the first call and it sends shivers down their spines. As soon as the line went dead, Meg "looked like a corpse, white as a sheet, dull dead eyes, full of pain, ugly almost" exactly what a ghost would look like. It was as if "The Call" had an immediate affect on her, and by now the atmosphere was getting cold, and the clock just stroke past twelve, everything needed for a ghostly atmosphere. Meg was warm and uniting, she also used modern language and wasn't complex or informative. This created suspense and mystery as audience wondered what affect Meg had and why? In Dickens "Signalman" the first indication that told me that something was wrong was when the man calls for the signalman and the signalman looked at a completely way, "There was something remarkable in his manner of doing so". This yet again created suspense and mystery. The "Signalman" stated that he was getting troubled and that was the point which created most mystery. To go with the suspense and mystery is the atmosphere and in the "Signalman" the spooky atmosphere was created by little amount of light and temperature. ...read more.

Conclusion

"The Call" was not typical of a ghost story, as ghost stories are rarely resolved and they leave you to ponder where as this doesn't. So "The Call" wasn't typical of ghost story genres, where as "The Signalman" is typical of a ghost story and leaves the reader to ponder about many details which weren't detailed enough throughout the story. "The Signalman" unlike "The Call" was not superbly resolved leaving the reader to question himself on what exactly happened and why? It also was a very brief resolution , it was only one paragraph long where as "The Call" had a couple of paragraphs. "The Signalman" also explains very little compared to "The Call" and as I said before unlike "The Call" it leaves you to ponder as to what happened and why, a typical ghost story genre. Throughout both stories there are a number of similarities, for example "The Signalman" and Meg were both entranced by the ghosts. Overall after reading both stories I have to admit I did find "The Signalman" fairly boring and preferred "The Call" by Robert Westell. It was more interesting than "the signalman" because it was a lot more explained and also was scary and sent shivers down my spine at times. ...read more.

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