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

"The signal man" and "The withered arm" both create mystery, intrigue and suspense effectively. Consider the methods used by Dickens and hardy to arouse the interest of the reader. Which story did you prefer?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"The signal man" and "The withered arm" both create mystery, intrigue and suspense effectively. Consider the methods used by Dickens and hardy to arouse the interest of the reader. Which story did you prefer? In your answer you should consider: Narrative Style Setting Plot Context Today in the 21st century we are well used to entertainment that includes horror, suspense and intrigue, although it is now usually in films and it seems to be a good alternative to books. Horror films are becoming more and more popular and recent statistics prove this, the most popular films today are chilling and psychological thrillers. What makes these films so good? It may be because of the special effects, the storylines, the music or perhaps just the whole package. Can a good story have the same effect as a good film? "The signal man," and, "the withered arm," are very similar but also very different. Both stories include death, spectres, premonitions, and both contain a lot of suspense and mystery. The writers use different ways to create different effects. Charles dickens was born in 1812 in Portsmouth, England. He was educated for a total of four years in two different schools. On the ninth of June 1865, while returning from France, dickens was involved in the "Staplehurst" train crash. He had a lucky escape as his was the only 1st class carriage not to plunge off a bridge that was being repaired. He spent time helping the wounded and dying before rescuers arrived. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens holds the suspense well, as he only describes the spectre very vaguely. This keeps the reader interested and intrigued by the fact they know very little about the spectre. I found that the signal man, the spectre and even the narrator, were very mysterious in some points throughout the story. Dickens has made it hard for the reader to establish who is the main mysterious character. The next story, "The withered arm," also includes a type of spectre, but the story is an awful lot different from the, "the signal man." The two spectres from the two stories are actually a lot different. The ghost in the withered arm is described much more vividly than the one in, "the signal man." This story was wrote by Thomas Hardy, and is set in Wessex, England back in the early 1800's. In this story Hardy writes about community life in a very rural setting. This story is full of hatred, jealousy, regret and vanity; this makes it a very interesting story. The title, "the withered arm," ha connotations of death, evil and sickness. This gives you the initial impression of the story; at the start of the story it seems very pleasant and changes your first impression completely. As you read on, you realise that the first impression was correct. Thomas Hardy wrote a lot about social injustice, rural life and explored male - female relationships. This short story seems to incorporate all of these. Hardy also didn't believe in god; so therefore may have believed in the supernatural, and witchcraft. ...read more.

Conclusion

But you are still unsure about his character. The story seems to have a delayed climax; we never find out what or whom Gertrude saw in the egg, this creates mystery and suspense. It is suggested that Rhoda is a witch when she and Gertrude go to see Conjurer Trendle; how did she know about him? Does she believe in magic? I found that the fact that conjurer Trendle used an egg to see what happened was quite weird, although I think that it ties in well with the rural country setting. I found the ending to be very shocking, and quick. The fact that Gertrude died, it says, "she never made it home alive," The boy died and then the father," farmer lodge," dies makes the story end in a sad shocking way. I think that hardy ends this story too quickly although I think that the way that it leaves you uninformed about a few things. It never actually tells you what the incubus was, was the ghost a metaphor for how Gertrude was crushing Rhoda's life. The fact that the boy and Gertrude died was very shocking, as it all seemed to happen very suddenly. In essence, I found that both stories have good qualities but I think that, "The signal man," was slightly more interesting than, "The Withered Arm." I personally found that, "the signal man," was better as it was kept short and seemed a lot more intense. On the other hand though, "the withered arm," was good as everything was described in extreme detail and it include different settings. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jordan McComb ...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 Thomas Hardy 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 Thomas Hardy essays

  1. Prose Study " The Withered Arm And Other Wessex Tales" By Thomas Hardy

    she opens up and tells Sam that, " 'I have a son... I almost fancy when I am miserable sometimes that he is not really mine, but one I hold in trust for my late husband.' " By this point in the story Sophy realises that the rift between her and her son has grown larger.

  2. What can we learn about Victorian society from the story 'The Withered Arm' by ...

    We observe that older men always married younger women. This was common and can be noted in 'The Withered' arm when Farmer Lodge marries Gertrude, who is exceedingly young 'Years younger than he they say' (a comment by one of the workers at the dairy make as they talk and gossip about Farmer Lodge's newly wedded wife).

  1. How does Hardy create sympathy

    Gertrude cannot think past it, increasing our sympathy; "how very odd, if you did!" in answer to the question of who proposed going there. She changes significantly after finding out who it was, although Rhoda starts to feel honest with herself, which is a relief to her.

  2. Shelley shows Ozymandias to have been a man who thought that he was indestructible, ...

    So he was powerful and in control already. But Ozymandias did have a few good qualities like his ability to build things from basically nothing like the city and how he did not like to be messed around, which I think is good because he wont be distracted if he is trying to make an important decision.

  1. Soap Opera Scripts

    Clair: (Stutters whilst talking) Well..he's the one, no he's the one, he told me he loved me. He wouldn't do that. Ruth: Well you just be careful ok!

  2. Compare 'A Stench of Kerosene' by Amrita Pritam and 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas ...

    For example all Gertude thought about when she has the wound was how to win Farmer's heart back, because he has gone off her, how to please him, how to look beautiful as she was before the wound. While in 'Stench of Kerosene' age played an important factor, for example

  1. Explain how Hardy shows loss and regret in his poems

    Hardy tries to represent Emma's death as dead leaves. I think he is trying to day that death happens to all and like in autumn, when most things die. It's due to nature and nature cannot be stopped. This creates a feeling of abandonment, emotional detachment, coldness and the feeling of regret.

  2. What methods does Hardy use to gain, sustain and ultimately to satisfy the reader's ...

    In The Withered Arm Hardy continues to use this technique. A good example of this is when the milkmaids are talking about Farmer Lodge's new wife and "as the milkmaid spoke she turned her face so that she could glance past her cow's tail to the other side of the Barton, where" Rhoda was milking.

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