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

How is mystery and suspense built up through "The Signalman" and "The Red Room"

Extracts from this document...


TITLE: With Reference to "Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells, compare the way in which both writers convey an air of mystery and suspense in the 2 short stories. The short stories, "The Signalman" written by Charles Dickens and "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells are both examples of stories in the Gothic genre. Both were written during the Victorian era and use various techniques that were commonly used to build an air of mystery and suspense. Through the Victorian era mystery and suspense were very popular themes; hence it was essential that both writers use these techniques throughout the short stories in order to establish the sense of mystery and suspense. Such techniques include: Ambiguity, an element of supernatural, the use of language and the setting of events. The story "The Red Room" focuses on a main element of isolationism throughout whereas "The Signalman" focuses on creating immense irony that is revealed at the end. "The Signalman" and "The Red Room" both use a high level of ambiguity within the stories to build a sense of both mystery and suspense. The ambiguity within the story builds a sense of mystery and suspense to the reader as it makes the reader wonder; doing this can make the reader speculate where they are struggling to find out the hidden information. Through ambiguity, information is withheld, this creates uncertainty in the mind of the reader, hence; mystery is built inside the readers mind. Suspense if created through the want to find out the hidden information. In "The Red Room" ambiguity is used thoroughly, yet when compared to "The Signalman" the use of ambiguity is less frequent; consequently it is unable to create the same effect as created in "The Signalman". ...read more.


use of such colours: reds - where the effect is increased through the title as well, "The Red Room" and blacks, which correspond to colour of darkness. The imagery here is very vivid and creates a distinct image in the mind of the reader; an image that personifies a dark, negative and evil picture and thus creates mystery and suspense. However, in "The Signalman" the imagery that is used is seen less often throughout the play, however, there are some examples, which can be seen: "dark sallow man, with a dark beard and heavy eyebrows". The imagery here is that of a description of a figure, and expresses a dark image. This conveying an air of mystery as the image is created in the mind of the reader and becomes eager to find more information about the image created. The effect of the imagery here is that the reader is then set a clear image about the character and one which is negative, this build the mystery to find out about the character. In addition, the supernatural element is a technique, which was very popular during the Victorian era and one that was commonly used. The effect is one that has been used in both stories: "The Signalman" and "The Red Room". Wells and Dickens have used this idea to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion for the protagonists, this leads to create a sense of mystery and suspense whereby in an event a realistic effect cannot be found but only the supernatural effect is plausible. In "The Red Room", Wells has used the supernatural element to create a very eerie atmosphere; it has been used to create a very distinct image and creates a lot of drama throughout the story. ...read more.


The metaphor used to create the setting shortly after "Halloa! Below there!" This creates a sense of mystery as the reader is wondering why the sunset would be angry; this is also due to the ambiguity. Hence, creating enormous mystery as the reader is puzzled. The ways in which Wells and Dickens build the setting is very contrasting; yet, both provide an air of mystery and suspense. "The Red Room" is based upon fear and being isolated creating suspense in the mind of the reader. Whereas in "The Signalman" Dickens has chosen to use ambiguity to build an air of mystery. The ways in which H.G. Wells and Charles Dickens have conveyed an air of mystery and suspense are both similar and contrasting. Both "The Red Room" and "The Signalman", use the effect of ambiguity throughout the stories to build a high level of mystery and suspense, they contain similar uses of language, yet, different forms of imagery. They have different level of supernatural presence and contain contrasting settings for the stories. Yet, they both stories still succeed in being able to create an air of mystery and suspense. "The Red Room" is much more effective in being able to create the air of mystery and suspense in the effect of imagery, in that the story is very successfully able to create mystery and suspense with distinct and vivid imagery grouped together with the fact that a lot of the imagery corresponds with the title and with the colour "Red". "The Signalman" however is able to create this atmosphere much greater through the stories ability to keep the reader tense with continuous ambiguity, this keeps the reader in speculation and it forces the reader to come to their own conclusion. ?? ?? ?? ?? Neil Gujar ...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. Describe the ways Dickens creates mystery and suspense in 'The Signalman'.

    This is slightly unsettling. Dickens conveys the signalman as a "dark, sallow man", which gives the notion that he is ill, keeping in tone with the sickly, unhealthy environment that is the setting. The solitary and isolation of the post surprises the narrator who begins (laid out in the narrative in indirect speech)

  2. 'The Signalman' is as explicit in its irony, as it is effective in its ...

    The final twist (and final sign of the short story) being that Mr A is in fact, just as influential as the spectre In predicting the chain of events leading to the death of the Signalman (As he was first mistaken for the spectre saying "hallo, below there" the words the driver spoke before the Signalman was killed).

  1. Looking Closely At The Nineteenth Century Short Stories: The Adventure Of The Speckled Band, ...

    After their conversation the man leaves and the signalman tells him that on his return journey not to call out those words. "Halloa! Below there". It builds tension over what these words really mean to the signalman and why he is scared of them.

  2. "In his short story 'The Signalman' by what means does the author Charles Dickens ...

    2ZNu Visit coursework fe in fe fo fe for fe more coursework fe Do fe not fe redistribute 2ZNu The description given to us by Dickens is very distinctive: 'His post was as dismal a place as ever I saw.'

  1. Examine the setting and atmosphere in three Gothic Stories: The Red Room by H.G. ...

    A sense of horror is also present. Hester admits that she is scared. '...the great organ peeled out so loud and thundering, it fairly made me tremble...' this tense atmosphere in the story remains until the end where the crying of the girl comes back even more louder and clearer.

  2. Examine the ways in which Charles Dickens builds suspense in 'The Signalman'

    the entrance to a railway tunnel, which is described as having a 'barbarous, depressing and forbidding air'. So powerful are the adjectives used, that one can imagine the terror of this huge, gaping mouth of a tunnel. Most people fear not the dark, but the unknown, so having a massive

  1. I will be examining the settings that the writers have chosen for their stories ...

    Similarly in 'The Red Room' the narrator is calling the old women and she does not answer him. By doing this, the writer makes these characters really mysterious and makes the reader question what is wrong with the people. One other similarity between 'The Signalman' and the 'The Red Room' is that they both use personification for effect.

  2. 'Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in ''The Signalman'', ...

    often enveloped the city, providing cover for crime, the rate being considerably higher than it is in modern Britain. In ''The Man with the Twisted Lip'' Conan Doyle chose to reflect the period's contemporary events, social conditions and problems. He gives realistic accounts of the setting at the time; to my knowledge no places have been invented.

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