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Victorian Prose Study Assignment

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Gcse English Literature Victorian Prose Study Assignment Gcse English Literature Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle write their stories deliberately creating an air of mystery and suspense. 'The Signalman' written by Charles Dickens is about a signalman who works at a lonely station in an underground railway cutting who is haunted by a sceptre and other unknown supernatural forces that foretell of imminent doom. 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' written by Arthur Conan Doyle focuses on a ghost hound that has haunted the Baskerville family since the evil Hugo Baskerville was murdered by it. Ghost and mystery stories are designed to explore the irrational or supernatural side to our lives by arousing irrational fear. They allow the reader to be frightened and horrified but the horror is controlled so that it's not too over whelming for the audience, to make it seem more believable. The writers have written for a distinct audience: one for a Victorian, who were fascinated by the supernatural, with the train as a new nineteenth century invention they were very frightened in what could happen. Dickens saw this as a perfect opportunity for the setting in the 'The Signal Man'. ...read more.


The signalman was scared, and if he is scared then the reader wants to know why and wants to read on. Dickens uses repetition in his language to get his point across. The use of repetition of the opening sentence, especially where the ghost waves his arms, is very weird and this may make the reader very edgy of the character. The signalman describes the tunnel as a "great dungeon". Such a strong word used in place of a tunnel, gives great atmosphere to the story; this is a superb way of adding tension to the story. He also uses other dark and gloomy adjectives to describe the tunnel. This makes it seem as though it is a mystery and, as many people are afraid of the dark, these are good words to create tension. I think, during the story, there is a lot of confusion as to the identity of the ghost. As the signalman acts very strangely towards the bell, which did not ring, the reader may think the ghost could be him. Also the way the signalman is suspicious of the visitor saying those words, may lead the reader to create an image of the visitor as being the ghost. Now, the reader is very perplexed as to who the ghost is. ...read more.


Although they are both alike in the aspect, that they are both mystery and suspense stories. As a general comparison both authors have written about totally different situations. Also the fact that the stories where written at completely different times in history affects the way in which the story is constructed and consequently written. Different aspects of the story are directly related to the surrounding society at the time when the story was written such as the language used which can be a major pivot point as to whether the reading audience could understand the authors writing or not. I think this is evident in both 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' and 'The Signalman' as the language used in 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' is clearly different from that used in 'The Signalman'. This type of differential between the two stories can greatly affect how parts of the story are relayed to the reader. As I live in the modern world I can relate to and understand 'The Signalman' much better than 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' because of the differences between the way of life in the 18th Century when 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' was written and relatively close to the present when 'The Signalman' was written. Tebo Mokwena - 1 - ...read more.

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