• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What Makes The Signalman An Effective Mystery Story?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What Makes The Signalman An Effective Mystery Story ? The setting of the story creates a mysterious feeling from the start. Early on in the story Dickens begins building up the tension, the opening line says "Halloa! Below there!" this gets us immediately into the story showing us we must be follow the story carefully to understand it. This also gets the reader-asking questions like who is saying this? And whom are they speaking to? We are given an eerie description of the cutting area; we are also given an indication that there may be something wrong with the figure at the bottom of the cutting. When the narrator calls down to the figure there is no response by the figure this leads us to believe there is something more to the man. Dickens portrayal of the cutting and the tunnel is very detailed for example Zigzag and Gloomy. These words give the reader an image of the tunnel and cutting, resulting in the reader feeling involved. Dickens describes the area as "as if I had left the natural world" this tells us that there supernatural undertones running through the story. ...read more.

Middle

On page 108 we learn more about the signalman he is actually well educated and even attempts to teach himself whilst he is in the box. We learn the signalman used to be a student of natural philosophy. But then we ask ourselves the question Why would should a highly qualified man be working in a menial job? We can also see how all the meetings take place within the cutting at night is so none of the tension is lost? If the pair where to meet on a hot summers day there wouldn't be the same eerie feeling. In a later conversation between the two the signalman says, "I am troubled sir, I am troubled". This conversation continues on the second visit when the signalman's outburst is explained. We are given vivid descriptions of the spectre's actions, this is when the narrator learns why his shouting had such an effect on the man. Throughout the story there is a flow of tension and we are often led into a false sense of security like when dickens starts the sentence "next evening was a lovely evening, and I walked out early to enjoy it" this gives us hope that the story might end happily. ...read more.

Conclusion

The third visit is the final visit the narrator makes and is also when he discovers the tragic death. When the narrator arrives he can see there is something wrong there where crowds of men and a tent positioned next to the imposing track and tunnel the narrator inquires at the situation and is shocked to discover the death. This is where the story unravels and tie's together we find out how Tom shouts the exact same words the narrator called on his first visit. This is when the reader is left to make their own decisions as to what was going through the signalman's head. And the narrator is left thinking if he had told the signalman's superiors this problem could have been averted perhaps being treacherous would have saved a life. Summary The title of the essay was "What Makes The Signalman An Effective Mystery Story?" I feel all the points I have discussed are needed in a mystery story in order to produce an effective mystery. I feel the ending is the key part to the story because it is unexplained and leaves us tense and unsettled with many questions unanswered. William Hollis 10RAF 20/01/03 English Coursework Mrs Baker ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Signalman section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Signalman essays

  1. Pro Studies Coursework

    fear of the dark by how he reacts to it by frantically relighting matches over and over again. During the story Wells creates a sense of reality as in some aspects of the story the reader can relate to what is happening to the character as he is more afraid

  2. How effective do you find

    that Dickens is trying to produce; it adds to the mystery and urges the reader to read on. What has made the signalman so afraid of these things?, these strange preoccupations of light and calling out. However then the signalman reveals the phrase which puzzles him, a phrase that he cannot understand why the narrator shouted out, "Halloa!

  1. Explain what makes a good mystery story, based on your understanding of 'The Red ...

    We are told that Helen has been troubled for a long time, 'Her features and face were those of a young woman of thirty but her hair was shot with premature grey' Dr Roylott is apparent as the obvious villain of the story.

  2. Pre 1900 Prose.

    He builds the atmosphere by setting the scene in a damp, dark and gloomy cutting. "....excluding all view but a strip of sky; ...crooked prolongation of this great dungeon;...gloomy red light, ...gloomier entrance...black tunnel, ...there was a barbarous, depressing and forbidding air.

  1. Prose English

    this doesn't only show that there is absolute silence it also shows how this doesn't seem to bother the narrator. ''the echoing of the stir and crackling of the fire was no sort of comfort to me'', this sets the scene as you can imagine someone alone in a great

  2. How do 19th Century authors employ horror, mystery and surprise in their work?

    to ask, "Was there really a supernatural apparition, or was it just coincidence that the disasters happened after the signalman thought he saw something?" Unfortunately, because the story doesn't reveal anything else we'll never know what the author intended. The mystery in this story is made effective by the supernatural/coincidence

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work