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How do the writers of the Victorian Ghost Stories use different settings to create a sense of atmosphere in their stories?

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Introduction

How do the writers of the Victorian Ghost Stories use different settings to create a sense of atmosphere in their stories? In any story the setting is important, however especially in Victorian Ghost stories it is perhaps the most important feature in the fact that it creates tension and thus establishes the reader's attention. All of the three stories we have read in class have established the sense of atmosphere in the introduction by simply describing the setting that the characters included. 'The Signal-man' is a ghostly thriller by Charles Dickens. Dickens manages to get the feel of an eerie atmosphere through his descriptive writing style from the beginning of the story. To produce this type of atmosphere, Dickens had to use several writing techniques -mostly through description and use of language. The setting is described vividly, producing very detailed images in the mind of the reader. There is a very powerful opening as the Narrator shouts "Halloa! Below there!" these are key words throughout this chilling short story. ...read more.

Middle

clear that in all of these stories all three of these writers try to exaggerate the detail of what their saying, the setting is no exception, having a setting that produces a strong feeling of atmosphere not only builds the tension but puts the readers in the correct frame of mind of what is ahead of them. Further on into the story of "the signal man" the cutting is described as a "deep trench." This gives us the impression of darkness and icy weather conditions of in the sense of when the word trench is mentioned, we first think of a wartime trench. The quote is also used to add a sense of warning to the story. 'he directed a most curious look towards the red light near the tunnel's mouth' - "he" being the "signalman" gave a weird look towards the red 'stop signal' near the tunnel which suggests that there was an unavoidable accident that was about to happen. This description of this setting also implies the tunnel is full of unexpected hazards and menacing qualities bringing a suspense filled atmosphere to the readers, He also tells us that he finds the signalman in "as solitary and dismal a place as I ever saw". ...read more.

Conclusion

Today, we have science and technology that give us answers. Stories about the paranormal were not necessarily about ghosts. They normally had the same/similar ingredients such as the dark inevitability of fate, eerie settings and atmospheres, symbolism of death and mostly contain simple plots, The Red Room and the Signalman are both very dark stories, the settings are all mysterious and creepy places to really catch the reader's attention. The settings create fear tension and suspense for the reader; The Red Room's setting is a big castle (Lorraine Castle) with deformed characters. The setting in the signalman is in a dark, lonely, damp setting in a cutting for a train track. Both stories keep the writer in suspense with description, short and long sentences to slow things down, and imagination. The writers change the characters feelings, emotions, and thoughts. In the Red Room when the main character is walking to the room there is suspense and small doubtful thoughts from the narrator because of the shadows making shapes that seem to follow him and the candles flickering in front of him. In the Signalman, Charles Dickens uses very descriptive and old-fashioned language to give us a sense of the atmosphere. ...read more.

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