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In this piece of coursework I am going to compare and contrast two short stories. The first story I am going to look at is 'The Red Room' and the second is 'The Signalman'.

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Short story coursework In this piece of coursework I am going to compare and contrast two short stories. The first story I am going to look at is 'The Red Room' and the second is 'The Signalman'. I will look at these stories and then compare them making sure that I mention the setting, creation of suspense, genre, style of writing and the language used. 'The Signalman is a short story by Charles Dickens and 'The Red Room' is another short story by H.G.Wells. These two stories are related in the way that they both use a ghostly theme throughout the story. 'The Red Room' is a short story about a room which is believed to be haunted by ghosts. In the story a man volunteers to stay in the red room overnight to prove that there are no ghosts in the room. At the beginning of the story the man seems very confident but when he starts his stay in the red room he begins to get so frightened that he injures himself in the process of running out of the room. At the end of the story he comes to a conclusion that it is not a ghost that haunts the room but fear itself.' ...read more.


He notes the strange behavior of the man with the withered arm who keeps repeating "it is of your own choosing". This adds suspense by making him think that the man with the withered arm doesn't want any responsibility over what happens to him in the room. He also notices that the caretakers seem inhuman or as if they are from an older age. This also adds suspense by making the reader think that there is something strange about the house. At the end of their meeting the man asks if someone will show him to this allegedly haunted room to which he gets the reply that he will have to go alone 'on this night of all nights'. This last quote makes the reader think that this is a bad night to be staying in the re room. The man agrees, gets directions and then exits the room. As he dose so he is hit by the harsh contrast between the warm fire lit room and the dark damp corridor that now awaited him. This sudden contrast makes the corridor feel spooky and also paints a good picture in our mind of this new corridor. The use of cold, damp and dark sets the scene very well for the mans journey to the red room. ...read more.


The two stories compare here because they are demonstrating the power of the human mind and what it can make you believe. The next day he woke up in a bed surrounded by the old housekeepers and managed to recall partly what had happened but he knew that what haunts the room is the fear in your mind. The two stories have one main similarity which is their ghostly theme. They both follow a dark story line. This is a quote from "The Signalman"; so little sunlight ever found its way to this spot that it had an earthy, deadly smell. The scene is described in a way that is meant to scare the reader and keep them on the edge of their seat. This type of writing keeps the reader aware and focused throughout the story. There is also a death in each one of the stories. 'The great red room of Lorraine castle in which the young duke had died'. I think that death is displayed in the story to demonstrate the power of the ghost or supernatural presence. The type of righting used In "The Red Room" is very dark and keeps you thinking about what could be there. "The Signalman' uses an old fashioned style of righting with words like 'Haloa! Below' witch means hello below. ...read more.

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