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We have been studying a selection of ghost stories, which were written before 1914 and have rather unusual ghosts

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We have been studying a selection of ghost stories, which were written before 1914 and have rather unusual ghosts. Your task is to evaluate the different ways the writers have dealt with supernatural happening and how they have built up tension in three stories. Your conclusion must provide an argument for which of the stories is most effective. Wilkie Collins who wrote The Dream Woman rebelled against his strict father and his religious background in which he grew up. He was determined to be a writer and live a less restricted life. This lifestyle would have affected his writing. His short story The Dream Woman has a theme of dreams and premonitions. This story is about a man who sees a dream of a woman trying to kill him and later in life he marries that woman, however he does not realise Rebecca Murdoch is trying to kill him but his mother does. Charles Dickens family background had a profound effect on his writing. When his father was sent to a debtor's prison, Charles had to leave school and had to earn money by labelling bottles, which was a really monotonous and depressing job. In this short story the signalman is a person who is isolated from civilisation. This was because of his job. He works in a small hut by the tunnel of the railway cutting. He is the only one who can see the ghosts, which warn him about danger. The final story is The Red Room, which is about whether ghosts are haunting a room in this castle. ...read more.


In the Dream Woman Isaac's mother finds out before Isaac about the meaning of the dream. She works out that the dream was warning him about Rebecca. There are constant problems in these types of stories. This help to generate tension. Both the Signalman and Isaac have problems they cannot extricate themselves from. The Signalman's problem is that he is the only one who can see the ghost and premonitions. He is very alert and whenever he sees a ghost there's an accident but he cannot do anything about it. When the Signalman tells the narrator about the premonition, the narrator thinks the signalman is strange and is probably reacting to the long and lonely hour of his job. He fears that the signalman is not paying attention to his job and is putting other people's lives in danger. In the Dream Woman, nobody believes Isaac about the Dream Woman apart from his mother. In this dream or premonition the Dream Woman is trying to kill him. Another problem is that although Isaac does not know, the woman he marries is the woman who is trying to kill him in the dream. His life is ruined because he lives in perpetual fear of Rebecca murdering him. There is a sense of doom and fatalism in both stories as though neither character can escape the problems they are facing. In the Red Room the main character comes to a castle and tries to prove the owners wrong. The owners think the room is haunted. ...read more.


The old people have an old English vocabulary whereas the young man is given a upper class and stylish vocabulary. When the narrator is going to the Red room the writer writes about the shadows following him. When the narrator is in the room he feels calm enough to stay. As he becomes more aware of the shadows in the room the tension rises again. 'The shadow in the alcove at the end in particular had that undefinable quality of a presence, that odd suggestion of a lurking, living thing that comes so easily in silence and solitude.' This shows us darkness is far more frightening than being able to see and know what is there. The tension is built through the young man expressing his feelings. As soon as the candles start going out in the room, the tension in the story is boosted because there is an uncertainty about why the candle went out. Although the narrator does not feel a draft he claims that it was a draft that blew it out. The tension is also increased her. He tries to reassure himself by lying to himself. When the candles continue to go out fear overcomes him. The narrator runs around the room lighting the candles. 'I was almost frantic with horror' Finally when the fire goes out the tension is at his highest. He uses long sentences that contain descriptions about how he feels. H.G. Wells uses tension to make the story interesting and keep the readers attention. Throughout the story the tension slowly increases and decreases this is what makes the story interesting and why I think is the best unusual and atmospheric story. Mohammed Imran Daji ...read more.

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