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The Darkness Out There - The Signal Man - A comparetive study

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ENGLISH WIDE READING The mood at the beginning of both stories could not contrast any more than it does. 'The Darkness Out There' has a beginning that is summery and fresh. Whereas 'The Signal Man' has a start that is very eerie and creates a sense of fear. A factor that runs all the way through the story. The effect that the beginning of 'The Darkness Out There' has is that Mrs Rutter's story hits the reader when they are not expecting it making it a lot more shocking. The mood change is massive. 'The Signalman' however, attempts to sustain the atmosphere from beginning to end. This makes the overall story more eerie by gripping the reader so that they want to read on to discover what happens later on. Historically the two texts are set in very different periods. With 'The Signalman' being set in the Victorian era and 'The Darkness Out There' being set around the 1970's. ...read more.


So really they are similar in a way. As both themes are focussed around responsibility, death and guilt and how they affect people. Mrs Rutter is not guilty at all as she has justified and glorified her actions to herself, and The Signalman can never forgive himself for something that was not really his fault. The main characters are two very different people, in both mind and actions. The main characters in 'The Darkness Out There' are Mrs Rutter, Sandra and Kerry. Mrs Rutter is an old woman that has lived through world war two. Sandra and Kerry are young and still in school. They meet Mrs Rutter through a school club. Both stories show similarities between their main characters. They are both lonely people. Both of the characters are affected in different ways in the situations being discussed in the two stories. But the reactions of the other characters are more important. ...read more.


The Signalman almost becoming depressed about something he could not have stopped, and Mrs Rutter refusing to accept responsibility and attempting to justify her own actions. Both stories have twists in the plot. In 'The Darkness Out There' it is Mrs Rutter. The story begins making her out as a sweet old lady, but as it develops it becomes evident that the old sweet lady is not as innocent as she seems, it really grips the reader and all the time it makes the reader think, 'What else has she done?'. This is why I think it is a very effective ending. But 'The Signalman's' huge double twist makes the reader feel for The Signalman. Of how he is strapped with guilt for an incident he could not have stopped. Also the reader is left to decide whether he is human or spirit. These perplexing twists come completely against all expectations. The ending of 'The Signalman' makes it, for me, a more interesting and effective ending, and an atmosphere that could be cut with a knife all the way through. Adam Noble English Wide Reading: Coursework ...read more.

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