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The Judges House and The Signalman Comparison

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I think that mystery stories are so popular with people today, and with the last couple of generations because they are so intriguing. The author tries to give the story an element of surprise and also put twists in the tails to keep the reader guessing. Rather than just watching a film it allows the reader to build up their own imagination and interpret the story in their own way. The author will also try to integrate a ghost or spirit into the story, whether it be physically there or just psychologically; this gives the sense of mystery and usually results in the protagonist of the story dying. During the Victorian era mystery stories were especially popular, this was due to television and cinema not being in existence, so people had enliven themselves in other ways, in this case with books. In Victorian times religion was cogent and people believed in God more than people today, this meant that people thought what happen in mystery stories was very plausible. However with the advancement of science, people regard mystery stories as fully fictional, conversely some individuals and groups do still believe in the existence of ghosts and spirits. The two stories, 'The Judges House' and 'The Signalman' have atmosphere built up through the setting of the story as well as other things including the characters and also the dialogue. ...read more.


Malcolm Malcolmson, The Signalman and The Visitor are alike in someway for example their emotions change as the story progresses and thy usually start of confident however they later have a reality bite as they realise what is actually going on, this then makes them very scared. The Signalman is slightly different to Malcolmson and the Visitor he partially was scared all along, mainly of the visitor. Malcolmson is a stereotypical mystery story character as he is confident and throughout the story his emotions change. 'The Judges House' likes to explain the scenery around the characters as well as using small amounts of onomatopoeia to imitate sounds. For example when the narrator is describing the house he says 'It was an old, rambling, heavy-built house of the Jacobean style, with heavy gables and windows, unusually small, and set higher than was customary in such houses, and was surrounded with a high brick wall massively built' this puts a powerful image in your head on what the house actually looked like. The author does not use onomatopoeia too much but when he does it is used to describe the actions of the rats 'and a squeak and a scamper followed' this is really the only instance where the author uses onomatopoeia in the story. ...read more.


I think the story ends in fictional terms as fairly realistic 'here at the end of the rope of the great alarm-bell hung the body of the student, and on the face of the Judge in the picture was a malignant smile.' It basically ended with the judge hanging the boy and a crowd rushing in but after the judge had turned back into a rat and reappeared in his picture on the wall. 'The Signalman' also ends in a very stereotypical way, the protagonist dying and the ghost getting away. I think that it ends in a slightly more realistic way than 'The Judges House', as the judge transforming to and from a rat made it slightly more unbelievable, the visitor in 'The Signalman' ends up in psychological breakdown because of the coincidence, or maybe not, of hearing the train driver say 'Below there! Look out! Look out!'. In conclusion I think that the writer who created the best mystery story was Bram Stoker, 'The Judges House'. I think this because it is more stereotypical and includes more of the elements of a good mystery story. I think that it used writing techniques effectively such as repetition, and I also think it is very descriptive in its use of similes and adjectives. ...read more.

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