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The Man with the Twisted Lip

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Introduction

Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in 'The Signalman', 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' and 'The Red Room'. Consider the effects that each writer has created and how they contribute to the atmosphere. 'The Signalman' is a thriller about a signalman in the 1860's who sees a spectre as a premonition of some tragic accident. He meets the narrator and they become friends. The signalman tells the narrator of the spectre and of the accidents that happen after its appearance. The narrator goes to visit the signalman one day and finds that he is dead, hit by a train, and that the spectre that the signalman saw was really the train driver trying to warn him of his impending death. 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' is a crime/mystery story in the Sherlock Holmes series. Amateur detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Doctor Watson set out to solve the disappearance of Mr Neville St Clair. In the end it is discovered that the prime suspect is Mr St Clair in disguise. 'The Red Room' is a thriller/ghost story about a man who visits Lorraine Castle and investigates a supposedly haunted room. ...read more.

Middle

This gets them involved with the narrator and his feelings, for example the 'vile, stupefying fumes' that Dr Watson walks through in 'The Man with the Twisted Lip'. In 'The Signalman' the narrator smells a 'deadly smell' which adds to the unease and apprehension that the readers are feeling. 'And stopped for a moment, listening to a rustling that I fancied I heard; then, satisfied of absolute silence'. This extract from 'The Red Room' creates tension and unease and builds a climax as the narrator enters the red room. Each story takes place in a dark or gloomy setting; the authors have deliberately done this to make the readers uncomfortable and uneasy. The darkness sets off our primal fear of the unknown; we cannot see what could be lurking there. This technique is used in all of the three stories. In 'The Red Room' it is used in the climax to enhance the fear, 'a shadow came sweeping up after me'. In 'The Signalman' it makes the reader feel uneasy as the narrator descends the steep path. In 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' it is used to cause fear and apprehension of what lies in the dark berths either side of the narrator. ...read more.

Conclusion

Charles Dickens (the author of 'The Signalman') creates a setting which starts an immediate sense of unease as he describes the cutting through the narrator's eyes and nose. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of 'The Man with the Twisted Lip) does much the same but with a different setting which is just as repelling and spooky. H. G. Wells (the author of 'The Red Room') uses a classic castle setting to great effect. Large and dark the castle is perfect for suspense and an uneasy atmosphere. I think that 'The Signalman' was the best story as it is everything you expect from the suspense genre. Charles Dickens has thought about the setting and described it in great detail using words like 'solitary', 'gloomy' and 'dismal'. Also I think that Charles Dickens did the best narration, you could feel yourself the unease in the narrator and the sounds and smells he experienced. Charles Dickens made me want to read the rest of the story, want to find out what happened to the narrator after his encounter with the strange signalman. 'The Red Room' had to be the strangest of the stories; the grotesque old people, the weird mirror, the shadows chasing the narrator up dark corridors all of it was a bit twisted building up to what he might find in the red room. ...read more.

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