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The Gothic Genre with a comparison of "The Red Room" by HG Wells (1986) and "The Signalman" by C Dickens (1866).

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The Gothic Genre Some Victorian authors were into gothic stories and over a period of time the gothic genre became popular. A genre is a category or style of literacy and the gothic genre stories included the supernatural, mystery and horror. Readers began to enjoy this new range of writings that gave them a sense excitement as they read about the unknown. It also brought a kind of reality to them because they lived in large old mansions and castles with solid oak doors that creaked, they were lit by candles and oil lamps, so shadows flickered and allowed their imaginations to drift. The genre became a big hit in the Victorian time as the stories were not written in the future or in the past but in the present and that meant that the readers could relate to them, they could imagine themselves as part of the story or even the main character. In the Victorian Era some books and literature were written to bring a sense of fear and excitement to the reader. Stories were meant to be scary with a purpose of frightening the readers, which then caused their adrenaline to be released. The horror or gothic genre became personal to the readers because the objects and items used by the authors; they were real objects that the people used and had in their homes at that time. The people liked these stories because they believed them; they were very superstitious and therefore believed in things they had only ever heard or read about. ...read more.


H. G. Wells' story describes the haunting of a person who does not believe in supernatural. Bibliography http://www.genreflecting.com/horror02.html A comparison of "The Red Room" by HG Wells (1986) and "The Signalman" by C Dickens (1866). "The Signalman" is a short story, which builds on suspense and tension throughout the story, so there is an even spread of tension all over the. "The Signalman", uses the main characters, which are the signalman and the narrator, who is also a visitor. It is set in and around the signal box in a railway cutting of a lonely country station. The detailed description of the setting allows the reader to visualise the village in their minds. The signal box is a small box situated in a "gloomy, depressing", cut through used by trains. However in the story of "Red Room" there is no build up of suspense. We immediately have tension because of the spooky atmosphere. "The Red Room" is set inside the old Lorraine Castle, which is dark and isolated and the main characters in this story are three grumpy old people, two are men and the other is a woman. The old woman has "pale eyes", which keep staring in the fire; she also rocks her head from "side to side". One of the old men has a withered arm, wrinkled and has "red eyes". The other is even more "aged" and "decaying yellow teeth". The narrator is a very self-assured hero of twenty-eight who visits the castle. ...read more.


As the scene develops with each of the candles going out he first thinks it is a draught or he absent-mindedly blew them out, but as each of the candles are extinguished the terror of the coming darkness takes a hold on him. In the Red Room once the daylight comes and the narrator comes too we are left wondering by the dialogue whether there was really something supernatural in the room or whether he was overcome by 'black fear.' I have read both "The Red Room" and "The Signalman" and found "The Red Room" easier to read and understand. By comparison I found "The Signalman" slightly complicated to understand and really follow what was going on. In "The Red Room" Wells uses detailed language in a way that makes the storyline flow and is able to keep the reader well informed. Whereas the language that Dickens used did not flow as I couldn't fully understand what was happening. I thought "The signalman" was boring compared to "The Red Room" because the suspense and tension in the signalman took time to build up and was a little non existence as in "The Red Room" there is suspense immediately. The pace of both stories is determined by the amount of tension in the story, therefore "The Signalman" is slow in pace and "The Red Room" has a fast pace where every thing happens at once in the red room where the candles go out this builds the tension and the fear factor. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE English Literature Coursework Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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