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This essay will discuss how authors create atmosphere in three short stories: The Man with the Twisted Lip by Arthur Conan Doyle; The Red Room by H.G Wells and The Signalman by Charles Dickens.

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Introduction

Essay - Prose Victorian Stories Coursework Emma Munday - 10L Discuss how the authors create atmosphere in three Victorian stories and the effect of the audience. Examine the settings, characteristics and the use of the supernatural and dialogue This essay will discuss how authors create atmosphere in three short stories: The Man with the Twisted Lip by Arthur Conan Doyle; The Red Room by H.G Wells and The Signalman by Charles Dickens. Each one of these stories was written in the 19th Century, the Victorian Period. Each one has an element of the supernatural in them, even in The Man with the Twisted Lip. There are no paranormal beings in the story, yet the main character of the case is strange and bizarre. Every one of these stories has something in common: the paranormal which creates an atmosphere of darkness and the unknown. An example of this can be found in The Signalman. The spectre of a being warns people of future accidents, not actually frightening at all, because it means no harm; yet the very nature of a supernatural being creates fear. At the end of The Man with the Twisted Lip, there is a solution to the story because the case is solved. ...read more.

Middle

The Red Room is set in a ruined castle where the surroundings would be gloomy and mystifying. This creates a dark and terrifying atmosphere; 'It will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me' 'show me to this haunted room' 'blood on my hands'. The Man with the Twisted Lip is set amongst the smog that fills the air. This creates a dull, mysterious atmosphere because the surroundings are bizarre and unexplainable, like in the The Signalman is set in a railway tunnel; this creates an atmosphere of isolation because the signalman has been down there all these years and also of the dark. All these places have an element of the paranormal and the unknown attached to them. Words like 'frozen finger' 'clammy' and 'spirit' all seem to have a air of death around them, this suggests that these words are preparing us for the chilling climax of the signalman's death. In each of these stories, words like 'sallow' create the feeling of death making it frightening. All these three stories present similar characters because they are all described in unusual way. The reader questions why they perform certain actions. The character in The Signalman has an instant fear of what surrounds him and it makes you think: what has happened to him? ...read more.

Conclusion

All three stories use a range of writing techniques to create different types of atmosphere, such as a chilly or gloomy one. In The Man with the Twisted Lip by Arthur Conon Doyle, he uses adjectives like 'sallow'. Sallow means yellow with a diseased appearance. This symbolises death with creates a dark, heavy, evil atmosphere and anticipates future events. This was also a time when science and theories about the unexplained overtook the paranormal beliefs of many, so it made it more frigtening The stories use repetition on speech, 'I am troubled sir, I am troubled' this is effective because it creates a sense of tremor and suspense. All three stories have a chilling atmosphere. For example, 'black fear will be here, so long as this house of sin endures'. This is a almost cold quote, you imagine the fear lurking around this 'house of sin' or the devils house, which conjures a lot of images such as death, witchcraft and evil which were very known of in that time, creating superstition. In my opinion, The Signalman has the most chilling and dark atmosphere. This is because the spectre is always haunting the signalman but meaning no harm. This unfortunately led to the character's death because of the ghostly figure. The ending was the darkest point of the story ending it off on a dark, heavy, scary note. ...read more.

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