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The two short stories that I am going to compare are "Bang Bang who's dead?" by Jane Gardam and "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens.

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Introduction

The two short stories that I am going to compare are "Bang Bang who's dead?" by Jane Gardam and "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens. These two short stories belong to the mystery genre and use some of the typical elements of the mystery and ghost story genre periodically. The four aspects of these ghost stories I am going to investigate and compare between the two stories respectively are; Plot, Setting, Style and character. "Bang Bangs who's dead?" is a short story about a little girl called Fran who goes to an old house in Kent were an apparition is rumoured to play in the garden and wear the same clothes in winter and summer. "a little ghost girl plays in the garden. She wears the same clothes winter and summer-long black stockings, a white dress with a pinafore, and her hair flying about without a hat, but she never seems either hot or cold." This statement in the first paragraph straight away reveals the plot, that the story is about a little ghost girl, and straight away makes most of us think that there is going to be an encounter with this ghost girl in some form as the story progresses. ...read more.

Middle

this adds some more twist in the plot and makes us think whether the father knows something after all due to his abrupt sharpness in his tone when he replies "Shut up and come and lets look around the house" but this can once again be explained by saying that he is being the overprotective father .This type of frequent counter-attacks to try to come up with explanations to some of the strange happenings in stories is very typical and frequent in both modern and older stories. Further on into the story Fran is asked by the owner to play in the garden, Fran doesn't seem reluctant at all almost pleased, which is very strange for a girl her age after being told by someone she trusts and has known for her whole life that there is a ghost in the garden. This is not a typical element as it takes away some of the mystery and prevents more disputes and tension growing in the story, as the mother seems very calm and relaxed about it. Where as in other ghosts stories the parents get very stressed and afraid, and panic and try to protect their children in any way they can and try to keep them as far away as possible from the "potential danger or disturbance". ...read more.

Conclusion

Then she tell her friends that it was her reflection, which shows that she still doesn't think she has seen the ghost. Which also shows that her character isn't easily fooled or may try to avoid the truth. Later on Fran meets the girl who she thought was her reflection, the girl seems very strange and is also dressed like Fran, we also see a strong reference in the text that she may have indeed actually been the girl Fran had seen in the oil painting. "This time she didn't vanish." This shows that the girl was the actual figure that Fran had seen or looked distinctly like her. When Fran tells her that she thought she was the reflection and the girl replies "when you've been here as long I have lets hope you'll know a bit more. Oil paintings don't give off reflections." Creates more tension to mount and this girl that Fran seems even more stranger. The way in which the girl says "When you've been here as long as I have" makes you think whether Fran is actually going to live in the new house and take this strange girls place. ZARAR MOHAMMED ENGLISH C/W ...read more.

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