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

How Do W.W Jacobs and Charles Dickens Keep The Reader's Interests in The Short Stories "The Monkey's Paw" And "The Signalman" ?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Do W.W Jacobs and Charles Dickens Keep The Reader's Interests in The Short Stories "The Monkey's Paw" And "The Signalman" ? 'The Signalman' and 'The Monkey's Paw' are very alike. Both of them have ironic twists and intense mystery. Charles Dickens wrote 'The Signalman' in the middle of the Victorian period. He set the story in a place which would make people think they were there living the story. He sets it in a gloomy railway cutting that would cause a 'chill' to most people. It was a very modern setting for Dickens to use, as railways were new to the country and of immediate interest and relevance to most people. Dickens probably chose a real place to set this story. He chose the gloomy setting to make the story particularly mysterious. There is quite a lot of curiosity in this story. For example, when the narrator calls "Halloa below there!" the Signalman just looks down the line at the danger light. "Is there any path by which I can come down and speak to you?" asks the narrator, and his reply isn't verbal. ...read more.

Middle

There are supernatural encounters in "The Signalman": for instance, when the signalman hears the bell twice yet the narrator doesn't hear it; when the signalman is talking to the narrator about the first time he saw the 'figure' and "six hours after the appearance the memorable accident on the line happened". And the same with the second incident. But all this seems like it might be on the border of coincidence. When the Signalman dies there is a sense of the supernatural, that the previous sighting of the 'spectre' has been a WHAT signalman's death. The narrator failed to accept that the signalman might have seen something of importance. The narrator "showed him how that this figure must be a deception of his sense of sight" yet the signalman as sure he had seen the 'figure'. Both stories end in an ironic twist. The irony in "The Signalman" is that all this time when the signalman was trying to help the next victim, he never knew that he was the next person to be killed. The supernatural is also involved in "The Monkey's Paw" . And again it is so close to a coincidence you have to think hard whether or not it is. ...read more.

Conclusion

as Mrs White seems to be rushing her speech, using simple one syllable words. Both stories also use the relaxing of tension and the building up of tension to keep the reader's interest. In "The Signalman", Dickens writes, "Next evening was a lovely evening" and when you read that after the previous language, it makes you wonder, why is today a lovely day when all the other days have been dismal. Then suddenly the narrator had a sudden "thrill that seized" him and he saw a live man acting out the part of the 'figure' that the signalman kept seeing, to a group of other men. It's as if the narrator could suddenly hear his heart getting faster and faster. The narrator is soon to find out that the signalman had been killed by a train. And the 'figure' that he saw was the driver of the train that was to kill the signalman. In "The Monkey's Paw" Jacobs builds up the tension by making Mr White ask short questions towards the sergeant. I feel that 'The Signalman' was the best story to keep the reader's interest. I like how Dickens uses the language and how he sets the scene right at the beginning for the reader, and how he describes the "cutting" and the "Spectre". ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. How does Dickens's retain the interest of the reader in "A Madman's Manuscript"?

    "She loved another. This I had never thought." This now shows us that he wasn't in control and he hated it. To gain control again he decided to kill his wife. "For many weeks I thought of poison..." He did this for another reason as well, his wife was pregnant and the offspring could be mad.

  2. The two short stories that I am going to compare are "Bang Bang who's ...

    the strange thing is that the ghost wasn't wearing long black stockings and a pinafore that it is rumoured to but the same clothes as Fran, a white tee-shirt. Fran thinks its her own reflection but we later find out (if we didn't already)

  1. Both 'The Monkey's Paw' by W.W. Jacobs and 'The Black Veil' by Charles Dickens ...

    It appears 'un-inhabited' except for a few 'questionable characters'. They are described as 'dark', just like their threatening surroundings. This suggests that the doctor isn't in good company but is surrounded by people he wouldn't want to meet and feels threatened by them. The houses in Walworth are the 'rudest' and 'most miserable' the doctor has ever seen, they are 'sprinkled' about like in a suburban area.

  2. The Signalman

    This also builds suspense. On the man's return visit he is told about the mysterious figure and how it disappeared. "It was gone". This long passage describing the ghost's actions adds tension and expectancy that it will come again. He also clears up his odd actions (when he looked down the tunnel).

  1. How Does Charles Dickens Use The Ghost Story Genre To Provoke Fear In Both ...

    If he telegraphs danger, he will get into trouble. Then, he starts questioning why the spectre didn't give him more information about how to prevent the deaths from occurring and also why the spectre chose him and not someone with more power?

  2. Discuss the way Bronte and Dickens create mystery in their short stories 'Napoleon & ...

    So being a first person narrative, the signalman's portrayal is different from the start, where it is based upon first impressions, to the end where the both the narrator and the reader have got to know the character. The language used contains a lot more description, with much longer and more detailed sentences than with Bronte's story.

  1. How Successful is Charles Dickens' Short Story The Signalman?

    In The Red Room there are certain things that happen that makes the reader think that something spiritual will happen. Like the candles going out unexpectantly. The only characters in The Signalman are the narrator and the signalman. The narrator is well educated as he refers to medical terms to suggest he may be a doctor.

  2. Analysing 4 Short Horror Story Openings.

    When the Old Man enters the cinema he chooses to sit next to the man but why as there were plenty of other seats available? The writer says, "He tried to get past me, though he had the whole cinema to choose from".

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