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The stories I am going to study are; 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells, 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens and 'The Judge's House' by Bram Stoker.

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"This night of all nights!" Comment on the impact of the minor characters in these stories, which you have read. Demonstrate how they contribute to the suspense of the tale overall. The stories I am going to study are; 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells, 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens and 'The Judge's House' by Bram Stoker. These stories were all written in the nineteenth century at the time of the Victorians. They were an extremely popular form of entertainment as there was no television, films or videos. Many of the short stories written in the nineteenth century were first published in magazines and newspapers. Mystery and supernatural stories were very popular in the Victorian age as the Victorians were fascinated by the supernatural. During these times Sherlock Holmes wrote his first book and authors such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and M.R. James began to address the era's fascination with death. In each of the three stories there are a number of minor characters, which contribute a lot to the stories. ...read more.


To me it implies that something has happened in the room and it could be the anniversary of some terrible event. The old woman repeats this saying throughout the story just like the way the man with the withered arm repeats, "It is your own choosing" So throughout the story of the Red Room the minor characters add a lot of suspense by their descriptions and what they say! In 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens the minor character is the signalman. When the man and the signalman come face to face the signalman is very quiet and unable to speak much. This makes me wonder why and what has possibly happened. Later on in the story when the signalman is speaking to the man he says, "If ever you make me another visit, I will try to tell you." These few words add a lot of suspense and I begin to wonder what will the signalman tell the man. Without saying many words in the story the signalman already adds a lot of suspense to the story that shows us how important these minor characters are to it. ...read more.


Another character, Mrs Dempster, is also very sceptical of the Judge's house. "Do you think there's no rats and beetles there? And do you imagine, sir, that you won't see none of them! Rats is boogies and boogies is rats; and don't you get to think anything else!" she says. Throughout each of the stories the minor characters give warnings to the protagonist but these warnings are always ignored and are always vital to what will soon happen to the protagonist. I have come to the conclusion that a story written in the nineteenth century is not just about the main character but it is about all the characters including the minor characters no matter how minor they are. All the minor characters, no matter how minor they are add to the suspense of the story for the reader, either by their reaction, descriptions or what they say. I have also concluded that the minor characters all seem to give warnings to the protagonist, which should be listened to. By Mark Christie 1,116 words. By Mark Christie ...read more.

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