• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Following a careful study of a range of Victorian Short Stories, discuss the ways setting and atmosphere were utilised, to make the stories successful for their designated audience.

Extracts from this document...


Prose Study Following a careful study of a range of Victorian Short Stories, discuss the ways setting and atmosphere were utilised, to make the stories successful for their designated audience. Victorian stories, especially those with a supernatural theme, cleverly utilised a range of devices to make them a literary success to their respective audiences. The range, which we have studied, covered a time period spanning all of Queen Victoria's reign and consequently created tension in similar and different ways, as I will show in this essay. The setting of Dickens' wonderful creation, "The Signalman" differs a great deal from the other stories. "The Signalman" was published in 1865, forty years prior to "The Man with the Twisted Lip", and "the Red Room". Through the development of this genre in the late Victorian era, we also notice a change in the plot and predictability of the later pieces of writing. For example, when Dickens produced "The Signalman", the latest technological development was the Steam Train. However, in "The Man with the Twisted Lip", Conan Doyle, wished to intrigue his audience by writing about a private investigator, seeing as at the time the Police Force were failing to fulfil their potential as 'Law Enforcers'. In the same way, the genre of "The Red Room", which is of course a gothic mystery, accentuated the horror of haunted rooms, secret passages and stairways. This allowed H. G. Wells to show how the Victorian social standing contributed to the overall appearance of neglect and welfare of the three oppressive untamed custodians. This was used for effect to mislead the audience by playing on their minds, with such questions as, 'What will they do?' and 'What part do they play in the overall plot of the story?' and is a clever device which succeeded in building tension. I have a slight inclination that "Lorraine Castle", which plays host to the story "The Red Room", is a fictional setting. ...read more.


Watson into thinking what possible reason other than being an addict to the opium, could have lead Holmes to such a "ceaseless" place, full of "drunken feet" and "bodies lying in strange fantastic poses". This endeavour supports the reader's imagination and provides certain representation as to the current setting. Watson, relieved when his companion revealed that he was "in the midst of a very remarkable inquiry, " and had only been there "in the hope to find a clue". Sherlock Holmes also shows his disbelief at seeing Dr. Watson in such a place. After Holmes 'returns' to his usual self, he begins to tell Watson how he had come to be in "the Bar of Gold". At this point, the audience along with Dr. Watson are in a state of confusion and are a little worried for the safety of Sherlock once he says, "had I been recognised in that den my life would not have been worth an hours purchase, ... and the rascally Lascar has sworn vengeance upon me." Once again a specific place is referred to when Sherlock and Watson depart heading for "Kent". "But I am all in the dark," Watson refers to his lack of knowledge about the case and metaphorically shares this unease with his friend. Sherlock along with the audiences first views upon the case, were that "it seems absurdly simple". Here one would think that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not wish to lull the audience into a false assumption about his main character, but in fact wished to reveal as little about Sherlock Holmes as possible to help maintain the reader's intrigue and mystery about the plot and the characters as well. As the two associates reach Lee (which once more assists the reader in picturing the setting) the Private Investigator starts to describe the background of the case to Dr. Watson. He tells of how "Mrs. ...read more.


When the three other characters hear the man's explanation, they are initially in a state of disbelief, and there is "an interval of silence". The settings, in "The Man with the Twisted Lip", and "The Signalman" are alike, because they both use surroundings that the audience can relate to and use subjects, which are of public interest. The stories can be linked together by the author's use of darkness and light, to signify, heaven and hell. In the same way, the first person narrative, which each story is told in, allows us, the audience, to experience the emotions, thoughts and feelings of the narrator. The authors use different temperatures, to create a certain ambience, which have an effect on the narrator and therefore the audience is aware of them, because people associate heat with life and blood being pumped around a body, whereas coldness with a dead body without any blood running through the veins. The changing shapes seen in "The Red Room" signifies fear and life also, because when life's candle is burnt out, you are said to be dead. To conclude, I would surmise that the later pieces of literature, relate more to each other, than with the earlier piece. This is because the way in which the authors portray characters and their personalities through such short stories differs immensely from that of Dickens' style of writing. However, just because I have made this point, does not automatically mean that, "The Signalman" does not bare any resemblance upon the writing from the late Victorian era, because it does in that the use of settings and uses of light and dark symbolism remain the same throughout the period. I preferred reading the story "The Signalman", because it keeps you enthralled with the plot as it is constantly changing the pace. Overall, the Victorian short stories, utilise a range of devices, which ultimately make them a literary accomplishment to their relevant audiences of the period. Mary Beardshaw 9143 St. Ambrose Barlow RC High 33369 ...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 Arthur Conan Doyle 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 Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. How does Conan Doyle create suspense and tension in the Sherlock Holmes stories?

    This intrigues the reader to carry on reading and to find out the answers to all of the questions going on in their minds like why is this King asking for Holmes's help, what is his case, what does Irene Adler have to do with this story and so on.

  2. 'The Speckled Band' and 'The Engineer's Thumb.' How does the writer create mystery and ...

    During the night it is harder to see, and many perceive this as potentially dangerous. Colonel Lysander Stark specifically requests that Hatherly come in the middle of the night so that he was not seen. Along with the fact that they did not want their money scam to be discovered

  1. In this course work, I attempt to discuss how the lead characters are portrayed ...

    Her desire for money is shown in the opening page but she also does not want to waste her energy on a case she could not believe in.

  2. Re-read the following Sherlock Holmes stories - In terms of narrative of the characters, ...

    Holmes looks at all the evidence and clues only to discovers that the step father is planting a deadly snake in their bed each night and then calls it back after so long using a whistle and milk. The plan was that the snake would bite the daughters and then

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

    atmosphere of the story and makes the reader more aware of the isolation of the signalman himself. I think is the most effective in creating suspense as it is a dark isolated place. This shows the place to be cut off from the rest of the world and the phrase "cutting was extremely deep" justifies my opinion.

  2. Sherlock Holmes - Explain what is revealed about life and beliefs in Victorian Britain ...

    His bravery is also shown in "The Man with the Twisted Lip" when he puts himself at risk in order to try to solve the case when he goes into the opium den, "Had I been recognised in that den my life would not have been worth an hour's purchase."

  1. hwo does conan doyle keep the readers intrest throughout the three stories

    the whole story, which keeps the reader reading to find out why this is. The main Characters in this story are Holmes, Watson and Professor Moriarty. Moriarty, the character introduced to us for the first time in this story, is described by Holmes as "The Napoleon of Crime".

  2. Sherlock Holmes essay Compare the two short stories Man with the twisted lip and ...

    "an old brier pipe between his lips, his eyes fixed vacantly upon the corner of the ceiling, the blue smoke curling up from him, silent, motionless, with the light shinning upon his strong-set aquiline features" this shows that Holmes is committed to his job.

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