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

With close reference to "The Black Veil" and "The Signalman" consider how successful they are as mystery stories. In your answer you should consider:-the criteria for a good mystery story-the use of structure to build suspense

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE English Literature Assignment C: Response to Prose published before 1914 With close reference to "The Black Veil" and "The Signalman" consider how successful they are as mystery stories. In your answer you should consider: -the criteria for a good mystery story -the use of structure to build suspense -the characters -the settings -the endings -the social, historical and cultural contexts -anything else you consider relevant Dickens is a successful mystery story writer. In both the "The Black Veil" and "The Signalman," Dickens uses linguistic devices to build up suspense and tension. As a common feature of short stories, Dickens keeps minimal characters with only two main characters in the stories. He keeps both stories full of suspense by keeping a character in each story mysterious and each story has an unexpected twist at the end. Dickens uses structure to engage suspense in the stories and stimulate the reader's imagination. He divides the stories into sections of descriptive passages and then leads into dialogue. By using this structure Dickens excites curiosity in the reader. ...read more.

Middle

The Doctor acts as we might act in the same situation with his first instinct being to visit the patient and help him. The narrator in 'The Signalman' asks the questions that we as readers might ask. In contrast to this the characters of the 'Black Veil' and the 'Signalman' are disturbed and enigmatic. By presenting the 'Black Veil' and the 'Signalman' in this way Dickens engages the reader's interest and we want to know what has disturbed them so profoundly. In 'The Signalman' the narrator is in a position to see the signalman at work and has complete confidence that he can do his job very well. However, he notices odd behaviour in the Signalman which he describes as an 'inexplicable air' which was the same strange manner or air the man gave at the beginning of the story when the man called 'halloa.' The signalman repeats the phrase, 'I am troubled' which reinforces the anxieties felt by the man and heightens tension and suspense. Typical of Dickens' writing, he withholds the information to create mystery, building up suspense. ...read more.

Conclusion

As was typical of eighteenth century stories, both of Dickens' stories had a twist at the end. In 'The Signalman' he was killed by the train after the train driver giving him the same warning as the man had described of the ghost. 'The Signalman' ends abruptly leaving the reader to muse. In the story of 'The Black Veil' there is the revelation that the man killed was the woman's son and was hanged. This story carried a moral which was common of many stories of this time. Unlike 'The Signalman' this story did not end abruptly but instead had a short narrative paragraph to end it. In conclusion I feel that Dickens was a successful mystery story writer. I think that he succeeds in building up suspense and mystery in 'The Signalman' by describing in great details the railway and withholding the information about the ghost in order to build suspense. I think that because in the stories the signalman had told it had always been others harmed, it was unexpected that it would end up in his death. The abrupt ending made me unsettled and let me ponder over the story. I think this was very successful as a mystery story. ...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. Literature G.C.S.E Prose Critique

    One of the striking things about the setting of 'The Signalman' is its unpleasantness: it is a lonely, dark and depressing environment, described as having 'Barbarous, depressing and forbidding air'.

  2. Describe the ways Dickens creates mystery and suspense in 'The Signalman'.

    Also, by showing examples of the signalman's knowledge and aptitude, Dickens is subtly compelling his audience to trust the signalman; our natural instinct is to trust intelligent members of society. However, there is still an aura of peculiarity around the signalman, which at first the narrator puts down to the

  1. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    'I cannot describe the thrill that seized upon me, when close at the mouth of the tunnel, I saw the appearance of a man, with his left sleeve across his eyes, passionately waving his right arm.' The word 'thrill' and 'seized' suggest a great power, enough to grab the narrator; the power of the supernatural.

  2. Examine the ways in which Charles Dickens builds suspense in 'The Signalman'

    The first line of one of the last paragraphs is it 'was a lovely evening'. This can almost be described as the calm before the storm or tempting fate. You just know that nothing good could follow this ironic line as we soon find out.

  1. The Signalman has an unsuspected ending. Explore the way in which the writer builds ...

    There are two things you can pick up from it as well firstly we know the signalman has a particularly peculiar voice, this adds to the already weird character description of the signalman. Secondly the signalman distinctly asks the man no to call out which does seem fairly strange.

  2. Explain what makes a good mystery story based on your understanding of three of ...

    parlour of Laburnum Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly." The atmosphere inside is warm, cosy and is a desirable place to be. By way of contrast, however W.W. Jacobs describes the isolation of the Whites' external environment using negative images, it is, "beastly, slushy out-of-the-way place(s)

  1. "A short story should stimulate the imagination and hold its reader in suspense."Consider the ...

    Wells' horror story, "The Red Room" immediately engage the readers' attention. Adopting a first person narrative in it allows the audience to delve into the narrator's thoughts. Dickens' "The Signalman" makes use of an oppressive setting to create tension, while Thomas Hardy's "The Superstitious Man" portrays the collision of two worlds - the living and the dead.

  2. Discuss the Ways in Which Dickens and Collins Create an Air of Suspense and ...

    And the ostler is about a man, a lonely man with less luck than anyone who falls in love, but only to find that she is the witch from his dream, the one that tried to kill him.

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