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How do the authors of 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman' create a sense of doom, mystery and suspense in their short stories?

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Introduction

How do the authors of 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman' create a sense of doom, mystery and suspense in their short stories? In HG Wells' 'The Red Room' and Charles Darwin's 'The Signalman' the authors create doom mystery and suspense by using a variety of techniques such as strange events, detailed description and a logical sceptical character. Spanning over sixty years the Victorian period was responsible for much technological advancement including the steam strain- which is portrayed in The Signalman. 'The Signalman' was written in 1866 (the mid Victorian period) whereas 'The Red Room' was written in 1894 (the late Victorian period). The Signalman uses people's scepticism of the steam train, a very new innovation, to draw the reader in and create suspense. The train is described as a 'violent pulsation' which suggests that it was intimidating to people who have not seen or heard a steam train before The Red Room uses the timeless nature of fear to discount supernatural presences. ...read more.

Middle

For example the narrator in 'The Red Room' claims 'it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me' and the Gentleman in 'The Signalman says 'deceptions of his sense and sight' The three old people in 'The Red Room' make an awkward atmosphere for the narrator and are described as having inhuman qualities. The narrator makes clear he does not believe in the supernatural but contradicts himself when he takes a gun into the Red Room. The Gentleman in 'The Signalman' is portrayed as very educated and knowledgeable which is weird as he works in a job that does not require a lot of intelligence We know this as he shares with the Signalman his scientific views on the supernatural. The Signalman himself is said to be 'extremely exact and vigilant' but also says he is 'troubled'. The Gentleman describes the Signalman as pale which suggests he is 'ghost-like'. In both stories the beginnings are very similar with both starting with dialogue to involve the reader. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Red Room is deliberately far away which suggests it is isolated. The candles going out are a product of panic and imagination by the narrator. H. G Wells created doom, mystery and suspense in 'The Red Room' in many ways. He raises the suspense level mainly through the personalities of the three old people, with language, description and their actions. The man with the withered arm increases the suspense level with his repetitions of the phrase 'it's your own choosing'. It is a warning repeated three times, an effect used in 'The Signalman as well. The repetition of a phrase or an action three times is an element used by writers to increase mystery and suspense and suspense. Charles Dickens created doom, mystery and suspense in 'The Signalman' by using the imaginative spectre to create tension. The Signalman's character is very mysterious and can be likened to a ghost which adds suspense and doom as the reader will speculate the possibility of him and the narrator being a ghost. Dickens and Wells created a story that makes the reader ask themselves questions-an important aspect of a ghost story. ...read more.

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