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"The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Red Room" by H. G. Wells are both tales of the supernatural. How do the authors achieve a sense of tension and suspense in the stories

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Introduction

Assignment "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Red Room" by H. G. Wells are both tales of the supernatural. How do the authors achieve a sense of tension and suspense in the stories? Which story do you find most effective and why? Essay After studying the texts of "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells, I am going to look at how the authors achieve a sense of tension and suspense in their stories. They both use the supernatural to give an overall sense of tension and suspense for the reader. But is this all they do to do this? What else do they use? Narrative structure and style The narrative structure and style in "The Signalman" helps achieve a sense of tension and suspense by gradually revealing the plot to the reader, although by having some area where the pace is quite fast also builds tension and suspense for the reader. As the reader you can relate to the narrator more as it is told from his point of view and is written in first person. The story itself is not written in chronological order and H.G Wells makes as much use as he can of flashbacks. These make you, as the reader, more intrigued to find out what the story is all about. Dickens uses repetition in this story to constantly remind the reader of the basic plot and the gist of the story. The main phrase which he uses to do this in the story is "Halloa! ...read more.

Middle

This shows us that it is not the supernatural haunting the room, but your fear of the supernatural is what builds the tension of the characters in this story. The characters with the deformities are used to make us think of the sort of people that are warning the narrator, i.e. his conscience, not to go to the red room that night. I think that they are used as a decoy by Wells to get us thinking about what has happened and not of what is happening to the narrators fear and what is really happening to him. The relationship between characters In "The Signalman" the relationship between the two characters is not clear to the reader at first as they both think that the other is a ghost and are both unsure about what to do or say to each other. They start off as strangers, who have never met before, but as the story progresses and they start talking to each other they became as good as friends that they could in the time that they knew each other. They try to find out as much about each other as they can and ask certain questions to each other to find out the specific information that they want to know about each other. For example when the signalman asks the narrator "Let me ask you a parting question. What made you cry 'Halloa! Below there!' tonight?" he is trying to find out if the narrator has any reasons for calling that those words to him as he had heard them many times before and was unsure as to whether or not they had meaning. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some example of him doing this are when he uses words like 'darkness', 'chilly', 'echoing', 'black', 'silver', 'light', and 'sudden/suddenly'. Throughout the story the narrator calls the room the 'red room' but there is no specific reference or mention of the room actually being re. I feel that this builds tension and suspense for the reader, as they do not know what is red about the room, unless they call it that because the think it is the cause of a previous death. Wells also uses very good verbs to give the reader an idea of the fast pace that everything seems to be happening at and to heighten the idea of action for the reader. Conclusion I personally think that the story, which is most effective for the reader is "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens. This is because although the story is revealed to you slowly the fact that there is a huge climax and the pace increases at the end, when we find out the real gist of the story, is very intersting for the reader. Overall "The Red Room" by H. G. Wells is a good story and is similar to "The Signalman" in my opinion. However, I did not like the fact that we did not get any introduction to the characters or the story andwe had to try think about them for ourselves whilst reading about why the narrator is there although there is no specific reason as to why he is there. I think that Dickens made more use of the supernatural side to his story than Wells and in y opinion this is more effective for the reader. Stephanie Brewster. 11.22 1 ...read more.

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