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Review three of the short stories you have read and say how they were typical of their genre and what ideas they explore that are still relevant today

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Introduction

Review three of the short stories you have read and say how they were typical of their genre and what ideas they explore that are still relevant today Originally stories were sung or spoken and handed down through word of mouth from one person to another. There were thousands of traditional stories all over the world, from King Arthur and his knights of the round table in Britain to Hercules and the Gods on Mount Olympus in Greece. In the middle ages this was how stories were told, these stories were sometimes shown as plays, which many people could pay to watch. These plays were based on love, war and religion and were very popular with everyone. Some mystery plays were based on bible stories and shown throughout Europe. Others were based on the courtly love tradition where women were worshipped like Gods. In contrast other stories were shown as having the "damsel in distress" such as Robin Hood, with knights and a great battle of good versus evil. Some even took the myths and legends and included them in their stories; this could have been where princesses were saved from a beast such as a dragon or a small boy performing the colossal act of defeating a giant. The Signalman By Charles Dickens The setting is a railway line at the bottom of a steep cutting, where the sunlight "barely penetrated". It was a "dark, dank, gloomy and depressing place near a tunnel with a red danger light at its entrance." The signalman's box was but a few hundred yards from the entrance of the tunnel, giving the impression that this is the last outpost of life before entering the tunnel, which could go down to the underworld. ...read more.

Middle

He drives himself hard, pushing past the needs of sleep etc until he solves the mystery. The other characters are: * Neville St Clair, the owner of the Cedars. He is a rich man but little is known about his past or how he came to be rich. * His wife - the Madonna type of Victorian women. * The foreigners who run the opium den * The inspector and the Bow Street policeman (emergence of the police force in society) The main story seems to be a murder mystery, but in fact no murder took place. This story crosses class boundaries and perceived ideas of what is right and respectable. Neville St Clair appears to be rich, well educated, a model Victorian husband and father. In fact he turns out to be a deceiver, an actor, an undercover reporter who pretends to be a beggar. He discovers that begging is more lucrative than his low paid reporting job and decides to use his acting skills to become a well liked and recognised beggar. Within a short while he has enough money to buy the Cedars and a completely different life in a different county and in a higher social different class. However he needs to keep returning to his begging job to keep his income flowing, but his wife and family have no idea of his dark, secret life. He lodges at the opium den when transforming into the beggar and only the owner of this establishment know his full and true identity and is paid well to keep the secret. The main context of the story is when St Clair's wife thinks her husband has been murdered and the o=police and Holmes become involved in the mystery of his whereabouts. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was often an entrance to the underworld, a tunnel, a dark wood, a cave or a particular type of room. The Man With The Twisted Lip The entrance to the opium den descends via a stairway 13. They often used different levels of society to portray types of people i.e. a lot of the evil people were working class, ill-educated. The Signalman the signalman was working class but educated above his station, the traveller was middle class because he had the knowledge of doctors of psychology 14. Evil was not always personified as ghosts, sometimes it was strong emotions such as fear and pride, which was the evil factor. The Signalman Fear changed the signalman and, trying to ignore the fear, brought about his death The Man With The Twisted Lip Greed, deceit and shame changed Neville St Clairs life as he became something he wasn't i.e. the beggar to gain more money; the deceit was the manner in which he gained the money, he developed a character by dressing up under a disguise, and shame if the high class society found out how he gained his money it would be social suicide for himself and his family 15. The characters willingly move towards their own doom. The Signalman focused on his job to keep the train safe, willingly tended to the red light near the entrance to the tunnel but was not focused enough on his own safety and so was cut down by the train The Man With The Twisted Lip Neville St Clair conscientiously chose to be a beggar and also would have willingly gone to prison or the executioner rather than have revealed the secret and disgraced his family. ?? ?? ?? ?? Helen Woodmancy. 10X ...read more.

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