• 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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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. Looking Closely At The Nineteenth Century Short Stories: The Adventure Of The Speckled Band, ...

    The signalman's actions are very weird to start off with; he stands in the railway with his hand on his chin, not moving a muscle until they are face to face "Before he stirred I was near enough to have touched him".

  2. How is mystery and suspense built up through "The Signalman" and "The Red Room"

    Mystery and suspense is also built in both short stories with there being a clear physical presence of the supernatural in both short stories. Wells and Dickens have included the supernatural in the stories to interact in some way with the characters; this creates mystery and suspense, as the actions of the supernatural are unexpected.

  1. Compare and contrast three 19th Century gothic short stories commenting upon the authors' use ...

    Charlotte Bronte, the author of 'Napoleon and the Spectre' and wrote this at the age of 17, this is another example of a Gothic short story. 'Napoleon and the Spectre,' concerns the Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, who is led by a gruesome spectre, from his bedroom, through the streets of Paris

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

    On the same page it says there was a "gloomy red light, and the gloomier entrance to a black, in whose massive architecture there was a barbourus, depressing, and forbidding air". This area seems to be abandoned, where only the trains keep the signalman company.

  1. Examine the setting and atmosphere in three Gothic Stories: The Red Room by H.G. ...

    The climax reaches when, 'All at once the east door gave way with a thundering crash, as if torn open in a violent passion...' The phantoms of 'a tall old man...a stern beautiful woman, with a little child clinging to her dress' enter the hall.

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

    The light in the story activates the reader's sight, and expands our interaction with the atmosphere. Contrast is found again in the story as you progress, in the home of Mrs St. Clair. It is described as 'a large villa' in 'its own grounds' with 'a drive, its own flood

  1. Compare the two short stories, 'The Signalman' by Dickens and 'The Withered Arm by ...

    We recognise them by their occupations. However, the main important reason to why the characters are remained nameless is that the names are irrelevant. In 'The Signalman', Dickens creates a debate between the two characters. There are two sides of the argument, for the existence of the supernatural and against the existence of supernatural powers.

  2. Comparing The Red Room, H.G.Wells, The Signalman, Charles Dickens, He Ostler, Wilkie Collins.

    The eyebrows painfully contracted; the mouth fast set, and drawn down at the corners; the hollow cheeks sadly, and, prematurely wrinkled; the scanty, grizzled hair, telling weakly its own tale of some past sorrow or suffering." The suspense begins at the beginning of the story when the inn-keeper finds the Ostler talking in his sleep about murder.

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