• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The red room and the signalman

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Thomas Fahey 03/01/2009 How do the authors maintain suspense and tension in The Red Room and The Signalman which story do you consider does this most effectively? In The Red Room by H.G Wells, written in 1885 and The Signalman by Charles Dickens, written in 1894 are both excellent examples of stories concerning the supernatural. Ghost stories and thrillers were very popular in the Victorian Era. These types of stories are found under the genre 'Gothic'. H.G. Wells and Charles Dickens are both renowned authors and are very good at using particular techniques throughout their writing to maintain suspense and tension. The Signalman is set in an age where the train was a brand new technology which was not completely perfected; this made it a perfect place to set a mysterious ghost story. Charles Dickens was influenced to write The Signalman in 1865 when he was in a railway accident in which the train derailed at high speed. Ten people were killed and many injured. By using his experience to write this story it gave the setting a very contemporary edge, which played on societies fear for the latest technology. ...read more.

Middle

When the narrative is fast it makes the reader think faster coming up with lots of questions such as what going to happen. The personality of the characters can build tension for instance 'His attitude was one of such expectation and watchfulness that I stopped'. When you first meet the signalman his nervousness leaves the reader wondering what the reason for this behaviour is. Occasionally throughout the story Charles Dickens repeats certain phrases such as 'Don't call back... Halloa, below there'. The repetition of these phrases can make the reader think about the reasons, such as why he cannot call back. The Red Room is set lot earlier than it was written giving it a very timeless quality. Everything in the setting is very old fashioned and follows a very standard structure with a foreboding castle, hidden rooms and ghosts. He was purposely gave no indication as to its particular time or location. Just like Charles Dickens he uses the light to give the setting a more sinister atmosphere, 'dark against the firelight... ...read more.

Conclusion

H.G. Wells uses personification regularly. 'My candle flared and made the shadows cower and quiver the shadows as stepped toward me.' This makes the seen more dramatic and a lot for the reader to concentrate on and also gives the impression that there is somebody else present. Many of the techniques used in The Red Room are very similar to the techniques used in The Signalman. However The Red Room can build up more tension than The Signalman because it contains more gothic features. The danger involved in the red room it's much more obvious than the danger involved in The Signalman, perhaps because of its timeless quality. Because of the timeless quality we know exactly what kind of dangers await him as soon as the scene is set. The narrator is referred to in the first person in one story which gives the reader a stronger sense of being present in the story and makes it seem more realistic. I think that the most effective means of building tension in a story would be the use of light and description creating contrast between the known and the unknown. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. How do the authors maintain suspense and tension in The Red Room and The ...

    Some quotes such as 'angry sunset' suggest that nature itself is angry. The personification can also make the reader feel that perhaps there is something or someone else present in the darkness. All of the colours are quite dark. Red can easily be related with death through blood.

  2. The Monkey's Paw and Red Room Comparison

    worried about all of the things that could be lurking within the ink like blackout of the room, and it is this that creates the tension, and leaves the reader in suspense waiting to see if there is indeed something there that is, as of yet, unknown.

  1. The Use of the Supernatural in the Three Stories: The Withered Arm, The Red ...

    Another way, in which the tension is built-up, is how the stories twist. An example of this is when in 'The Monkey's Paw', the story twists suddenly when the ghost scene happens, an example of how this is done is, 'At last, wearied by her day's work, she too retired...

  2. With Close references to the texts you have been studying, explore how the authors ...

    Consequently when the door bell rings, the mother answers the door hoping for Herbert but no-one appears. There is confusion to the reasons why this could happen include: the Monkey's paw granting the wish or someone playing on the street.

  1. How has suspense and supernatural been presented in The Red Room. The Signalman and ...

    In RR there is a narrator and three other real characters (The man with the withered arm, the man with the shade and the old woman), all three real characters may have been scarred by the haunted room, and three which have supposedly been deceased.

  2. How do the writers of The Red Room, The Signalman and The Man with ...

    He comes across as someone acting brave but it is obvious he has fear in him. In The Man With The Twisted Lip, the narrator is talking about somebody else. Compared to both the other stories, The Man With The Twisted Lip is the only story in which they identify the characters.

  1. Comparison of 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy and 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles ...

    Charles Dickens, in addition, uses the writing technique of pathetic fallacy to reflect the setting to Scrooge's personality. 'It was cold, bleak, biting weather; foggy withal' reflects Scrooge's solitary and cold character in the beginning of the novel. However, at end of the novel where Scrooge has undergone the change, the setting has 'no fog, no mist; clear, bright'.

  2. Comparison of How it happened and The Signalman

    The word 'monstrous' meant abnormal in 1866. This also shows Dickens's effort to create psychological state. He also describes things very ambiguously, for example, ' I resumed my downward way, and stepping out upon the level of the railroad, and drawing nearer to him, saw that he was a dark sallow man, with a dark beard and rather heavy eyebrows.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work