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

The Signalman and the Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost stories. Write a critical comparison of these two stories. What do you consider to be their strengths and which of the stories do you enjoy the most.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Saadia Rashid 17th May 2003 English Essay The Signalman and the Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost stories. Write a critical comparison of these two stories. What do you consider to be their strengths and which of the stories do you enjoy the most. Charles Dickens and H.G. Wells were both living during the Victorian era. The many radical changes in this era tainted their writing. Both Wells and Dickens were against the social situation at the time, this is evident in their writings. Although Britain had many colonies, wealth was not circulating amongst its people. This made life unbearable for some. Dickens and Wells spoke out against this and were concerned with the fate of human society. Dickens wrote many books plays and pamphlets, as well as giving talks, on the effect of an unjust society. Wells, also thought about the effect of an unjust society, but was also interested in science. In The Signalman much of the story takes place outside, this outside atmosphere is embellished with plenty of detail giving it a hesitant environment. ...read more.

Middle

An array of powerful adjectives is utilized by Wells, such as "grand staircase", "great window" this exaggerates the visitor's journey down the corridor. The castle seems gargantuan in size and seems to overwhelm the visitor. Also there is not much dialogue in The Red Room. This is mainly because the visitor is on his own with his mind. Therefore the sentences contain a lot of feelings, we know of his fear, and the way he tries to "restore his nerves". This also helps the reader to understand what is going on in the mind of the character. In the Signalman both characters are essential to the plot. This is because the visitor is outside the problem and tells us the feelings and actions of the signalman. When the signalman is telling of his feelings and incidences he lays "his hand upon my arm", this is what the visitor tells us. The signalman is also essential to the plot as he is the character that sees the spectre. The visitor is narrating the story; he gives us a lot of detail about the actual Signalman. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is evident as at the end he describes what haunted him in the room, "Fear! Fear that will have no light", this is as if he is now able to comprehend what haunted him in the red room. I enjoyed The Red Room more than The Signalman, because I like the pace of the story. The Signalman is quite difficult to grasp the full meaning of the story, for example the visitors own words "For Gods sake, clear the way!" are used by the train driver. The story meaning is intricate to comprehend as the spectre seen by the signalman is actually showing him his death. That is why every time the spectre was seen by the signalman it was always followed by a death. I also like The Red Room because there is a lot of detail given in the setting of the story. The reader is inevitably waiting to hear of a spectre at the end of the story, but the lacks of a spectre does not give a dull finish. The ending perfectly compliments the rest of the story as the fear is personified and makes the ending very unusual. The story has an unusual twist at the end which gives it a far from clich� conclusion. ...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 The Signalman 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 The Signalman essays

  1. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    In this passage the suspense dies down a little. However, there are still the references to the supernatural to keep the atmosphere. The references are a little ambiguous in the sense that they could be supernatural or it could just be he reader interpreting them as such because of the descriptions that have come before.

  2. Mystery Stories

    individually; creating the feel and setting the scenes in the story as you read it. This gives it a more personal mood to it. We can also know his thoughts, emotions and feelings as they describe it and we can get right inside his head.

  1. Ghost Stories essay

    I will be exploring the important elements in these stories, such as the tension and suspense which make the reader want to read on. The title of a story is very often important because it attracts the attention of the reader.

  2. In what ways is "The Signalman" a typical ghost story?

    He stands by the idea that he is right and what he knows what to do next. The narrator says when commenting on his past education says to himself:- "He had run wild, misused his opportunities, gone down and never risen again" Suggesting that he would never rise to the same level as he (the narrator)

  1. Pre 20th Century Prose- A Christmas Carol and The Signalman.

    The Signalman starts with the quote "Halloa! Below there!" This short, but effective line becomes very decisive as the story unfolds. Already we are held in suspense, as we don't know who is speaking, and why they are calling out to someone. The man who he is shouting down to looks round in the opposite direction, and he "Looked down the line".

  2. Comparative Essay between "The Signalman" and "The Pit and the Pendulum"

    When the narrator came up with his second escape plan, to get the rats to bite off his bonds, Poe describes the rats' techniques using alliteration, that is, "the vermin frequently fastened their sharp fangs into my fingers". At the end of the novelette the narrator is trapped in a

  1. Short Stories Essay

    After the industrial revolution printing became easily accessible, newspapers and magazines were then in demand because people could read them. Short stories then became present in magazines and newspapers. This was great news for authors, a good way to earn money and build up audiences.

  2. 'Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in ''The Signalman'', ...

    and shows the extent of the filth, which conquers and prevails over the river yet alone the land. Doyle's story begins pleasantly with the scene at the Watson home, depicted in this quote, 'the hour when a man gives his first yawn' wife doing her 'needlework' leaves 'armchair' and 'cheery sitting-room'.

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