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

Explore the ways in which the two authors create feelings of suspense and tension in their stories. Say which you feel is the more successful ghost story and why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Friday 5th March 2004 Explore the ways in which the two authors create feelings of suspense and tension in their stories. Say which you feel is the more successful ghost story and why? Charles Dickens and H.G.Wells have both written ghost stories in which they are able to create feelings of suspense and tension by using different techniques of writing. Setting the scene, imagery, characterisation and they also have decided to use a developed or undeveloped narrative voice. But beneath the original perception, they are very similar. Charles Dickens wrote 'The Signalman' which is based on a real life drama, even though we are not told so in the story. He relates back to a year before the story was published and so it isn't a coincidence that he wrote a piece about a train crash. 'The Signalman' was published as part of a collection called Mugsby junction in 1866 (when Queen Victoria came to the throne). This story is different from 'The Red Room' written by H.G.Wells as 'The Signalman' is an overall ambiguous story where as the 'The Red Room' is not ambiguous as in this piece you know what is happening and when it is happening and in 'The Signalman' it is not always clear. ...read more.

Middle

So the reader may want to read on to see what happens to the narrator in the house. Together the authors' use imagery to set the scene, as the better a picture of suspense and tension created, there is more chance of producing a more successful ghost story. In 'The Signalman' Dickens has created a mix of setting the scene and imagery to construct claustrophobic tension: "Was it necessary for him when he was on duty always to remain in that channel of damp air, and could he never rise into the sunshine from between those high stone walls?" For me the reader, this image 'sets up' suspense by including a rhetorical question at the end. This is a good use of language as you the reader can come to your own 'right' decision. Again Dickens uses adjectives to give depth to the story. In this quote the narrator seems confused to why the signalman himself chooses to 'remain in the channel of damp air' and he is unable to come to a logical answer so reverses the question 'could he never rise into the sunshine' This builds up readers suspense as the passage drops a hint of suspicion to whether the signalman is a paranormal spirit...and not a living human. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sometimes this can be useful but other times it may become hard for the reader to maintain a link with all of the characters. Wells has characterized the individuals effectively as he has got their moods in realistic form (you can see things like it happening in real life dilemmas). But in 'The Signalman' Dickens hasn't chosen to add a personality to the signalman himself. This is effective as a ghost story because there is a lot of ambiguity about him and because he is an undeveloped character this makes you feel uneasy when you are reading about him as you don't know what to expect from him or what he is going to do next. Overall I think that 'The Red room' is the more successful ghost story simply because of the fact that Wells has described the characters in more depth and generally speaking his story was the more intimidating piece of writing. Although Dickens had based his story on a realistic drama, I think he didn't have as much of the chilling dialogue as had 'The Red room'. Friday 5th March 2004 Explore the ways in which the two authors create feelings of suspense and tension in their stories. Say which you feel is the more successful ghost story and why? By Maxine Skinner. C:\Documents and Settings\maxine\My Documents\Coursework\Languages\English\Coursework Mrs Davage\coursework.doc 07/05/2007 07:08 Maxine Skinner ...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. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    signs and then work out that she was not dead after all. This is a good use of language and so at first convinces the reader of the narrator's death but then gives the hints of her being alive. This means that when the reader reads the final ending it

  2. A good ghost story must contain suspense and tension - discuss

    Again this is a good way of creating suspense as in 'The Canterville Ghost' it tells us that every time the ghost appears a member of the family dies, so you wonder who this is going to be; which member of the Otis family is going to die?

  1. Compare and contrast Charles Dickens' "The Signalman" and Catherine Storrs' "Crossing Over" and say ...

    An effective ghost story, regardless of the time in which it was written, is one that contains an original and unpredictable plot, believable and interesting characters, a credible narrator and creates terror, suspense and intrigue. A ghost story should involve a ghost or the possibility of a ghost and leave the reader slightly confused and uneasy at its conclusion.

  2. In what ways is "The Signalman" a typical ghost story?

    then realises a strange "coincidence", the driver repeated exactly the same actions of the ghost and exactly the same words as he himself thought the ghost was trying to say. The incidents, which occur in "The Signalman", are reminiscent of other typical ghost stories, for instance in the story the

  1. "In his short story 'The Signalman' by what means does the author Charles Dickens ...

    The irony leaves the reader shaken. The one time the signalman chooses to ignore the voice was the one time he should have. The calm scientific reasoning of the author was wrong whilst the hysterical ramblings of the signalman were surprisingly correct.

  2. Compare and Contrast the ways in which Charles Dickens and Ray Bradbury create Tension ...

    "Angry sun" is again using the weather to demonstrate the mood, however, this time the mood is one of anger. In "The Crowd" weather is also used, in much the same way, to help create or direct a desired affect on the reader.

  1. Examine the ways in which Charles Dickens builds suspense in 'The Signalman'

    He does not appear human because of this - there is an enigmatic air about him. When he is spoken to by the visitor and asked questions, he does not reply, merely points to a path, as if he is worried about communicating or does not want to.

  2. In The darkness out there, Shredni vashtar and The signalman, authors create an atmosphere ...

    Dickens uses personification like 'angry sunset' and 'violent pulsation'. He writes in short sentences. This also gives us the feeling of suspense. At first Mrs Rutter is described in positive terms.

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