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

Which is the more effective of the supernatural stories of "The Signalman" and "The Red Room"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Which is the more effective of the supernatural stories of "The Signalman" and "The Red Room" Ghost stories in general need to have certain key features if they are to work effectively. The most important factor is that there needs to be a supernatural element. A well-written ghost story needs to be mysterious with mood and atmosphere. There also needs to be suspense so that the reader will continue to the end to find the solution to the ghostly mystery. In this essay I will discuss the effectiveness of 'The Signalman' as a ghost story. The Signalman is a well-constructed, atmospheric piece, about a gentleman who meets a Signalman. The Signalman tells him about a supernatural figure who appears to him at the mouth of the tunnel just before any disaster is about to occur. The narrator's dilemma when he hears the Signalman's unexplained account leads to an exciting ending that keeps the reader's attention. Supernatural figures are a key element required in a ghost story and as stated there is a supernatural figure involved in 'The Signalman' "... 'I, standing at the door, looked towards the red light and saw the spectre again.' He stopped with a fixed look at me." This tells us that the Signalman is very anxious of the spectre because the narrator says that the signalman stopped with a fixed look at him. ...read more.

Middle

He says 'I can assure you that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me'. As the story unravels it is his pride that causes his downfall. In the Red Room we never find out the entire character's name. H.G Wells builds up suspense so that the reader remains interested in the story. He does this by building up the tension all the way until the young man gets to the room. The things the young man says in the first paragraph makes us, the readers see that the young man is going to stay in the room for the whole night and come up unharmed. The other characters in the story are three old people; two old men and one old woman. The first old man is referred as the man with the 'withered arm', the old woman is referred as the 'old woman', and the other old man is referred to as "even more bent, wrinkled and more aged than the first". Even though the old people have lived there for eight-and-twenty years they have never been into that room. The old people don't seen human. H.G Wells creates a lot of suspense during the young man's walk up to the Red Room by letting the young man explore the castle on his way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Light and dark play an important role inside the room because light means certainty and dark means uncertainty. Light represents knowing and dark means unknowing. The ending is something that some of the readers would expect because the young man wakes up with his head bandaged, and the man with the withered arm looking at him and the young man was trying to recollect what had happened. H.G Wells does this to make the reader think the young man is dead. When the three old told him what happed he starts to remember slowly. The old man says to him 'you believe now that the room is haunted.' He then goes on to say 'it is the thing that haunts poor mortal man and that is, in all its nakedness- Fear!' H.G Wells chooses fear because it had no sound, shape, form, or light. I believe "The Red Room" is the more effective of the two supernatural stories because fear seems to take on a personality in itself suggesting it can work against you and have power over you. This is shown by the way in which the narrator reacts to the circumstances in the red room. Wells is effective in creating tension, as we have to wait and find out what really frightened people about the red room. The ending might be seen as a little disappointing because in our 21st century we would rather see what lurks behind the darkness of our mind and our surroundings. ...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. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    as we often associate a beating heart with the preparation for fear. There is then the appearance of the boy and the girl. '...Instinctively longing to touch them'. This could be a sign of her being alone, needs to reach out to someone.

  2. Examine the setting and atmosphere in three Gothic Stories: The Red Room by H.G. ...

    Normally a good suspense story should have them. In The Signalman you are trying to figure out where and when the ghost comes in and so you become hooked. The description of the signalman's weird behaviour and actions leads you to think he is supernatural. Typically the scene is set in the dark creating a mood within a deep cutting at twilight.

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

    The stories brought up have an effect on both the reader and the young man in the story. For the reader it reinforces the feeling that the man is doomed and for the young man himself, it shatters his nerves and makes him aware of all the possible dangers that could seal his fate if he enters the room.

  2. How typical are 'The signalman' by Charles Dickens, 'The monkeys paw' by W.W Jacobs ...

    This gives a effect of mystery because the reader doesn't know what the signalman saw. The word 'trickling' suggests that the tunnel is wet, damp and eerie. This is typical of the gothic genre because the fact that it is wet suggests that it has been bad weather and stormy.

  1. How characteristic are 'The Signalman' and 'The Red Room' of the nineteenth century ghost ...

    This can clearly be seen in 'The Signalman' when the tunnel is described to have a 'barbarous, depressing, and forbidding air.' The use of multiple emotive adjectives has the effect of expressing the suspense that the sentence provides. There is also a build up of tension by using a long

  2. "The Signalman" and "The Red Room" are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost ...

    The vibration of the ground captures the senses and in turn adds more tension. However instead of scaring the reader, tension is lost when Dickens enlightens the reader by saying it was a train. In my opinion the sense of suspense is also reduced at this point due to the change in the climax.

  1. The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs, "The Clubfooted Grocer" by Sir Arthur Canon ...

    There are many other references to the number three throughout the story: the Sergeant says, "Three separate men could each have three wishes from it" and it is also the number of times which the Sergeant issues warnings to the family.

  2. Make an analysis of the two stories and compare and contrast how the supernatural ...

    The setting of each room is described extremely acutely so as to make the reader think that they are actually there. The old people that inhabit the house were left in charge by 'her ladyship'. They are all elderly and are in some way disabled, one of them has a

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