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The signal man and the Red Room are both pieces of unique gothic literature

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Introduction

Victroian stories Although these two pieces of writing have different storylines, the authors still use the same techniques to apply mystery and suspense to their story. Mystery and suspense is mainly trying to keep the reader guessing throughout the story and wanting to read on to find out the answers and whether their guesses are correct. The techniques used are mainly theme, character and narrative structure. The signal man and the Red Room are both pieces of unique gothic literature, which come under the ghost story genre. The object of these kinds of stories is to scare the reader and to keep them on the edge of their seats. Both of theses stories were written in the Victorian age, where ghost stories were more popular than ever, during this period of time I think people were more easily scared, that is why many ghost stories were written during this period of time. Ghost stories are still enjoyed by many people today, they still keep the reader on the edge of their seats and still terrify the reader. The title of the story, 'The Red Room' implies that the setting of the story is going to be in a red room. The colour red catches the reader's attention because of the nature of the colour red, red mainly stands for danger, fear blood, etc. ...read more.

Middle

The "gloomy red light and the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel" the gloomy pair seem to just say aloud 'use your imagination and see the ghost standing there' The characters in the red room are timeless and ageless to go along with the ancient setting. From the first line in the story which is, 'I can assure you that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me' This signifies the narrator's character instantly; it shows that he is a cocky and arrogant young man. As we progress through the story we learn that there are 3 'grotesque' old people also in the room. The first line that the old man with the withered arm says is, 'It is your own choosing' Which creates a feeling of suspense, making the man with the withered arm seem mysterious? There is also a grim old woman sat there looking in to the fire with, 'Pale eyes wide open' This tells us that her eyes appear to be lifeless, almost like a ghost. She starts to say queer things 'Ah... there are a many things to see..... A many Things to see and sorrow for... This suggests that the old woman is almost warning the narrator, trying to make him feel uncomfortable, she also, 'Swayed her head side to side' Which seems like an indirect physical warning, this adds more depth and tension to the story and the dreary old people? ...read more.

Conclusion

This idea of the red light makes us think of danger, and red lights are only indicated when something bad is about to happen so this adds to the tension of the story for the audience reading it. As the narrator and signalman begin to have a conversation we start to find out more about the signalman and his character, this also adds to the suspense and tension of the story, because the characters make the story. The signalman is devoted to his job, nothing means more to him than his occupation, and he is a perfectionist everything he does has to be perfect: "Exact and vigilant" The signalman would even leave a conversation halfway or stop what he was doing and attend his work. Once he had completed it he would then come back and carry on with what he was previously doing. At this point the narrator thinks that he should feel safe whilst in the presence of the signalman, but then again on the other hand he thinks that there is something creepy about him. This increases the suspense for the audience because it makes us think about what is going to happen next and why does the narrator think that there is something strange about him. Does the narrator know something we don't? But then again some people would take no notice of it and say that it's not strange at all. He's only doing his job. ...read more.

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