• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    There is blatantly more than meets the eye to this man, and we know that we'll find out more about him as the story progresses. He is described by the visitor as having a 'remarkable' way of looking, although he 'couldn't have said what'.

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

    Dickens uses the colour red in his story. He sees the ghost 'standing by the red light near the tunnel.' Red is an emotive colour, which presents a warning or danger of some kind and makes you wonder why the ghost is there as well as by the red light enticing you to read on.

  2. Compare and Contrast "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Withered Arm" by Thomas ...

    The story has combined some of the key elements of the ghost story with some of the elements of a detective story. The signalman poses the question "What does the spectre mean?" but the narrator has no answer. The signalman goes on to talk about how much it troubles and haunts him and wonders what he can do.

  1. Short, entertaining stories were extremely popular within the Victorian era, and a number of ...

    deliver his moral to his readers quite blatantly, in comparison to Dickens' moral which is quite subtle. Collins rewards Bessie's 'wit' with her 'husband', and he briefly sums up the occurrences following the 'horror-struck' night, which if they were written in detail would bore the readers.

  2. How does the author create suspense in the red room

    This is disturbing because it gives a sense of mystery and suspense; it creates an image of an entrance into something strange and abnormal. Additionally the word gloomy suggests that this tunnel contains something ominous. This is also enhanced by the choice of the setting itself as tunnels aren't cheerful places themselves.

  1. Pre-1914 Prose: The Red Room Compared by H.G Wells compared to The Signalman by ...

    There is a similarity between the narrators of both stories as they are simply used as observers and they do not seem to have names, histories or particular personalities. I think the writers did this because it keeps the stories short and simple and focused only on the supernatural side of the tales.

  2. How do the writers of 'The Red Room' and 'The Signalman' create fear and ...

    Below there!' The story that the signalman tells, enables the reader to understand and even sympathize with the emotional entrapment that the signalman must be going through. One last way the author lays emphasis on terrifying the reader is the way the tunnel is described.

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