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"The Signalman" and "The Red Room" are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost stories

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How effectively do the authors of "The Red Room" and "The Signalman" create a sense of suspense in the story "The Signalman" and "The Red Room" are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost stories. The Signalman by Charles Dickens was written in 1865, which was the time of developing literacy. This short story was presented in three parts as it was previously in a periodical form; this technique was also used to create suspense and therefore leaves the reader at a cliff hanger after each episode, which in turn motivates the reader to read on. There were many rumors about this story as many people suggested that Dickens wrote this story as a remembrance of the day he was involved in a railway accident which killed ten people. Furthermore, He was writing in the Victorian times, when there was a massive change in technology as new inventions were created, e.g. the Train. In comparison The Red Room was written only thirty years later in 1894 by HG Wells although it feels more timeless. At that time technology had improved intensely, nevertheless Wells still imitated the old fashion gothic literature style writing, which is ironic, due to the time. Both stories have managed to engage its audience by creating suspense and tension. ...read more.


Emotive language such as "tomb" is also used to remind the reader about death. The phrase "Terminating in a gloomy red light and the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel" clearly shows that Dickens uses the idea of the symbolic colors. This in turn helps create an image of descending into hell. The black tunnel makes us think of the narrator entering hell from heaven. The phrase "as if I had left the natural world" indicates that the writer himself believes in faith and is basically suggesting that he has left the known world. Like The Signalman, The Red Room, also starts off with dialogue "I can assure you.....that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me" In Well's story, he is insisting that it will take a very scary ominous object to frighten him. As most ghost stories or ghost movies there always has to be one person who is not scared, and for this one it is the narrator. This makes the reader want to find out about what he will do to meet a ghost. Alliteration "deafens and darkness" makes it sound more dramatic, as well as the phrase "the nights of all nights", this makes you curious and foreshadows that something terrible will happen. ...read more.


Many clues are given by the old people such as "There's a candle on the slab outside the door said the man with the withered arm, looking at my feet as he addressed me" the way the man looked down at his feet indicates that he is scared and also suggest that there would likely be something there. At the end of The Red Room, the old people have to save the young boy anyway; this makes the story have a moral - which would likely be: "don't be over confident and trust older people" In conclusion I think The Red Room by HG Wells creates more suspense than The Signalman, due to the fact it's all set in just one room and he has adopted the old gothic literature style which makes it very effective. Its also has many contrasts because it starts off in darkness and ends in daylight, whereas The Signalman ends in a twist which also occurs in darkness. HG Wells has also used symbolism very well and also ended with an ambiguous ending, which in turn lets the reader decide what you would think happens. At the time the story was written, this was a whole new concept; scary idea, the reader is also is kept interested because he or she wants to know what is in The Red Room. ...read more.

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