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

    got a notion that she was being loved less by her significant other. This can be further proven by the quote, 'Men think so much of personal appearance'. Through this quote we can comprehend that she is dejected, as her spouse does not seem to be giving her the same attention as before.

  2. How does Hardy create sympathy

    For a short while our compassion for Gertrude increases, as she says she has had 'six years of marriage and only a few years of love'. This makes us feel sorry for her, as she should have had six years of love and marriage.

  1. Compare and contrast the two stories, "The Outsiders and "The Withered arm", and show ...

    O, I daresay it will soon disappear." "Ha, ha! Yes... On what night did it come?" Mrs Lodge considered, and said it would be a fortnight ago on the morrow. "When I awoke I could not remember where I was," she added, "Till the clock striking two reminded, me."

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

    But Felix Randal is big and jolly, and is not controlling or bossy like Ozynandias. He does not want to live forever he just wants o live a normal life span, which I think he deserves. Felix Randal also comes through great difficulties to accept his fate, which I think is incredible.

  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. 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.

  1. Show how Hardy responds to the death of his wife, the thoughts and feelings ...

    He sees his wife 'not only there' but he sees her 'everywhere' and all the time as shown by 'day, night'. His memories are vivid and bright as if they 'were drawn rose-bright' 'on the air' and they are all consuming to him as if he is almost haunted by them.

  2. A Comparison between the Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and Odour of Chrysanthemums by ...

    In "Odour of Chrysanthemums", Walter Bates dies leaving Elizabeth with two young children and little money to live on. Elizabeth is also left to deal with the fact that she was never in love with her husband and that they never really knew each other, she also realises that she

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