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How do Charles Dickens and H.G. Wells create a sinister atmosphere in the opening of The Signalman and The Red Room? 'The Red Room'

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How do Charles Dickens and H.G. Wells create a sinister atmosphere in the opening of The Signalman and The Red Room? 'The Red Room', written by the extremely well-known author, Charles Dickens, and 'The Signalman', written by H.G. Wells, are two famous stories written in the Victorian era which reflect interests of their time and displays traits that place them in the gothic horror genre of their time. Dickens and Wells create a supernatural and sinister atmosphere in 'The Signalman' and 'The Red Room', through character behaviour and description and setting, and the way they do this will be examined and discussed in great detail. Paragraph 2 On the first page, Dickens draws the reader's attention to the Signalman's behaviour through the observations of the narrator. As the narrator shouts: "Helloa Below there!" the Signalman does not look up: 'he turned himself about and looked about the Line'. The fact that the Signalman looked down the line rather than looking above, suggests to the reader his odd behaviour; he is dedicated to his work, and an encounter with another person is rare, this indicates a supernatural atmosphere because the signalman's actions are different to that of a normal human being. In addition, the narrator repeats 'Helloa! Below!' in order to catch the Signalman's attention: 'He looked up at me without replying, and I looked down at him'. ...read more.


This quote indicates the unsociable characters of the custodians which makes the narrator feel awkward, this emphasises the supernatural atmosphere. Also, Wells uses the effect of repetition to emphasise the danger of the red room: the old woman repeats: 'This night of all nights?' twice throughout the second page. The repetition emphasises the warning to the narrator, therefore suggesting danger which creates a sinister atmosphere, this in turn, lowers the confidence of the narrator and scares him. Both Wells and Dickens use a variety of techniques such as; triplets to emphasise a certain description; repetition also to emphasise a point; Victorian symbols to relate to the target audience and symbolise the Signalman to be in hell, and so on. All these techniques are used to describe the custodians and the Signalman, and how it affects the narrator of 'The Red Room', and the narrator of 'The Signalman'. The way that Dickens and Wells describes the Signalman and the custodians helps to increase the feeling of supernatural. In order to create a supernatural and sinister atmosphere, Dickens describes the signalman to be unhealthy: 'he was a dark sallow man with a dark beard and rather heavy eyebrows.' Firstly, the repetition of 'dark' emphasises his description, and secondly, 'sallow', meaning a sickly yellow colour, refers to the Signalman's complexion to be dirty. This increases the sinister atmosphere. In 'The Red Room', wells also describes the custodians using certain techniques to create a supernatural and sinister atmosphere. ...read more.


word like 'vague' followed by 'violent' could indicate the speed of the threat of industrialisation, this in turn increases the tension and the supernatural atmosphere. In comparison to 'The Signalman', Wells also targets his audience and their interests when the narrator says: 'the long, draughty subterranean passage was chilly and dusty,' A subterranean passage is beneath the ground, this symbolises hell, because hell was strongly believed to be underground. Dickens also uses this affect when the narrator of 'The Signalman' shouts "Helloa! Bellow there!" which also symbolises hell for a very similar reason. In addition, Wells uses Multi-sensory descriptions to emphasise the description of the atmosphere. 'I shut them in and walked down the chilly, echoing passage.' The use of using different senses here is added emphasis on the description of the 'passage', which then in turn emphasises the sinister atmosphere. The descriptions of the settings play a large role in 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman', and more specifically, the atmosphere. Dickens and Wells both describe the setting to create a sinister and supernatural atmosphere. The various ways that Dickens and Wells have created a sinister and supernatural atmosphere has been examined and discussed in vivid detail. 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman' seem like two stories that differ widely in terms of content at first glance, but once they have been examined thoroughly it is easy to identify the similar techniques Wells and Dickens use to create a sinister and supernatural atmosphere. ...read more.

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