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In this essay I'll be comparing the frightening and gripping events between the two stories, a nineteenth-century story. The Signalman written by Charles Dickens, and a twentieth-century story, The Follower, written by Cynthia Asquith.

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Introduction

In this essay I'll be comparing the frightening and gripping events between the two stories, a nineteenth-century story. The Signalman written by Charles Dickens, and a twentieth-century story, The Follower, written by Cynthia Asquith. Both these authors have intended to make theses stories frightening with the inclusion of 'ghosts' and death. Authors write ghost stories as a change to what the reader usually reads. Ghost stories are written to create a sense of fear as the reader reads it. Often the stories aren't as scary as the author would intend it to be. Usually they are experiences, which could have occurred during the author's childhood. My opinion is that these two stories aren't as frightening as the reader would want it to be. But saying that, they still do create a sense of tension and suspense. So I am just merely examining the techniques used to 'try' and make them scary. As I am also a fan of horror stories I can personally give a personal opinion and feeling of the kind of stories. Once starting to read, you build up an anxiety to what might happen next, which keeps you interested in the story and makes you read on. This is what we, as readers expect a good horror story to do. The two stories I have chosen for this essay were both written at different periods of time, but yet both intend the same purpose, 'to create a sense of fear within the reader'. This essay will explore the techniques used to make the stories frightening and gripping. It will also consider the ideas the writers might be trying to convey through their stories. In not only horror stories but also any story/novel you read the author's purpose of writing an interesting opening to the story doesn't change. If not the, then one of the most important sections of the story, in which you could keep the reader attached to the story or have the book ditched at the next jumble sale. ...read more.

Middle

It also suggests that Mrs Meade can never escape the follower. The name Mrs Meade sounds pretty ordinary to anyone, including me, and it suggests that what is happening to her could happen to anyone, which creates a frightening and chilling feeling. Whereas the name of Dr Stone doesn't sound comforting at all as stone is usually associated with death. In the Signalman the sighting of a ghost is a scary event and makes us want to read on. The coincidences also add a bit horror and suspense to the story with the idea of a ghost appearing and someone dying. This is a common link in fear of ghosts that many readers have. Charles Dickens tries to make the story scarier by adding death into the scene. He is successful in this by describing a young, beautiful woman who suddenly dies, and then has her body lain out at the exact same place where the narrator and the Signalman are sitting. The fact that the woman's body was laid out at the exact same place where they are sitting, makes the story chilling. The author creates tension by adding the part where the Signalman is being haunted by this ghost. And the fact that at first nothing happens and then it keeps happening again and again also creates tension and makes the reader question him/herself, what is going to happen? But in the Follower, the idea of being followed and hounded by someone, and no one else seems to believe so they cant really help, is a very scary thought. One that can drive you insane. And the fact that no one else sees this 'thing' makes the reader want to read on to find out what the outcome will be. Tension is created right through the story, in many places. Like when she was abducted by a taxi driver who is the 'thing' she is totally frightened off; and when she is being operated on by a false surgeon who also ends ...read more.

Conclusion

Both these authors have intended to make theses stories frightening with the inclusion of 'ghosts' and death. Authors write ghost stories as a change to what the reader usually reads. Ghost stories are written to create a sense of fear as the reader reads it. Often the stories aren't as scary as the author would intend it to be. I have stated this, as these two stories aren't as frightening as the reader would love it to be. But does create a sense of tension and suspense. So I am just merely examining the techniques used to 'try' and make them scary. I think both writers were successful in attempting to make their stories frightening and chilling. But personally I preferred Cynthia Asquith's, 'The Follower'. The Follower for me was the easier option to understand. I found myself during some parts of 'The Signalman', pretty much lost and bored. The Follower sounded like in my opinion a much more modern story compared to The Signalman. The difference in time from when the stories were written could have helped in my decision. I might have said I preferred The Follower to The Signalman, but, however, I don't think it was the more frightening and chilling of the two. The Signalman gave more creepy feelings with the influence of 'ghosts and where pretty much most of the story was set. Charles Dickens has deliberately used the setting to create this creepy feeling in contrast to how Cynthia Asquith did in her story, The Follower, where she tried to get through to us that these situations do occur in life, where a person could go insane. Charles Dickens, however, is trying to explain how much industrialisation has affected us and it can be a danger to the civilisation of the human race, as it was written back in the nineteenth century, it could have been a warning for the future. Well personally I think his views and theories ended up being true, and nuclear weapons is good evidence, and backs up what he says about industrialisation. 1 ...read more.

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