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

With detailed reference to The Signalman by Charles Dickens and The Red Room show how the writers create an air of mystery.by H. G. Wells, compare the ways in which the two writers sustain/convey an air of mystery and surprise in the two short stories.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The two short stories are very similar in terms of the period in history in which they were written, as well as both being of a similar style of story and genre. But both writers convey an air of mystery and surprise in the two short stories slightly different in some areas, with one of the two sometimes having the greater effect. In The Red Room, by H. G. Wells, the story begins with the three words of the title at the top of the page. The capitalization of 'the' not only signifies the title of the story, but also the importance of the Red Room in the story to come. Also, the colour red is often associated with motifs of either love and comfort, or blood and death/murder. In the sense of the colour being used to mean the latter, the prominence of the word throughout the story is significant in creating an air of mystery and surprise for the reader. The story also begins with dialogue which can be separated into different literary techniques used clever in a short space to convey a sense of immediacy. The use of personal pronouns, 'I' and 'you', create this image of closeness between the reader and the narrator, with the accompanying verb 'assure' creating a sense of surety. The whole passage is also written in the first person, and contains a lot more dialogue than The Signalman in the form of direct speech. First person always creates a sense of immediacy, and this in turn can create a sense of mystery. Anonymity conveys an air of surprise and mystery from when it first used at the beginning of the passage, with each of the characters not being referred to with a given name. 'The man with the withered arm', 'the man with the shade', and other descriptions portray a sense that the elderly people are worn and the signs of old age can be seen in their disabilities. ...read more.

Middle

The precision of the narrator's detailed descriptions was an element of surprise for this detail was not normal, and reflects the characteristics of the Signalman in his daily job as perfectionist and precisionist. He is described with many words linking to a dark motif, such as being a 'dark sallow man', having a 'dark beard', 'heavy eyebrows' and was in place 'solitary and dismal'. Description used by Dickens seamlessly flows from the man to the setting as if the man was part of the landscape, merged like a ghost is to its surroundings. He is also described as being 'lonesome', which may depict an image of insanity when his thoughts and sightings of paranormal existence are merged. The cutting itself is then described as if the narrator 'had left the natural world', creating an air of mystery in the situation where the tunnel has a 'barbarous, depressing, and forbidding air' and these metaphors put emphasis on the mystery in the setting. Use of speech is varied in this short story, as opposed to The Red Room only using direct speech, whereas The Signalman uses both direct and reported speech to help flow with the descriptive elements of the story. Time is therefore important in how it is conveyed in speech, and in various sections of dialogue, Dickens uses reported speech and direct speech to help us understand which point in time we are following: the past or present. In the most part, the direct speech is used to describe the present situation, and reported speech often used to provide exposition for the reader. In the first instance, the Signalman seems to be a quiet man, where he "replied (but without sound), 'Yes' ", and his speech being one of his own as to have formed 'his own crude ideas of its pronunciation' is a suggestion that he was from a poor upbringing or one with no education. ...read more.

Conclusion

precise actions were so alike in those three image shown to us through the writing by Charles Dickens as being of significance, and does not reference other coincidences. This focus poses mystery upon the whole story, but more so in this focal point, and a sense of helplessness to a solitary man seems 'no use' and a 'dreadful time' as described by the driver of the train. It could also be seen that the description of emerging from the tunnel is likewise to similar descriptions of near-death experiences being of a tunnel with a light at the end, or descriptions of Purgatory where the mind can be cleansed of illness, just as the Signalman was cleared of his daunting thoughts. In The Signalman, the sense of mystery is greater emphasised in the entirety of the story with the bleaker setting, whereas The Red Room owes more descriptive elements to the sense of surprise, mostly due to use of frequent punctuation and pause in the sentences. Both short stories are equal in effect for conveying, but The Red Room is more 'efficient' in sustaining a sense of mystery and surprise in that the use of vocabulary and repetition and motifs are far more effective, as well as more literary techniques being used more frequently in this text and the Dickens text. In The Signalman, the descriptions of place and events convey separate areas of mystery and surprise, but not sustain as clearly as H. G. Wells, and the use of speech breaks up the sense of mystery as it can sometimes be misleading in the events. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Chew 10P Name: Matthew Chew Form: 10P Set: 2 Date: 21st December 2009 Title: 'With detailed reference to The Signalman by Charles Dickens and The Red Room by H. G. Wells, compare the ways in which the two writers sustain/convey an air of mystery and surprise in the two short stories.' Texts: 'The Red Room' by H. G. Wells; 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens. ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. With reference to the The Monkeys Paw by W.W Jacobs and to The signalman ...

    When the two start talking about India there is a hint of mystery to keep you wanting to continue reading on, it's like something is going to happen, "I should like to see those old temples and fakirs and jugglers".

  2. The Use of the Supernatural in the Three Stories: The Withered Arm, The Red ...

    The story of the 'Red Room' is set principally in a red room. This room is supposed to be haunted, where a duke died. By making the colour of the room a deep red it can be compared to the colour of blood, which commonly symbolises death, death is often

  1. How does Kat Chopin Represent Women In her Short Stories

    Sommers and the clerk of the store are "lost" in "admiration" this also makes you wonder how long it has been since Mrs. Sommers has felt worth of admiration and pretty. Mrs. Sommers then expends on "two high priced magazines" which she certainly wouldn't have bought before Chopin also mentioned

  2. Comparison of 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy and 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles ...

    As her jealousy grew, Rhoda had a vision that an old, ugly Gertrude comes and mocks her. Gertrude's apparition almost suffocates Rhoda but she manages to grab the apparition's left arm and hurls her to the floor. However, when they met together, Rhoda begins to grow fond of her and

  1. Explore the ways in which relationships are shaped and influenced by traditional cultural expectations ...

    that he couldn't do anything about it and so just accepted it. Despite the fact that it had been proven that Thebedi had had an intercourse with a white man, Njabulo maybe couldn't ask her about it because he was a second-class citizen and couldn't do anything.

  2. Sins of the Past

    Watson agreed, "Call it in." Lucy got out her walkie talkie and spoke into it, "Andrea are you there?" "What is Agent Vasquez?" the woman called Andrea in the FBI headquarters asked. "Listen," Lucy yelled above the sound of the gunfire, "we need back up!

  1. Explore the method which writers use to create suspense and tension in 19th century ...

    The narrator in The Red Room believes that ghosts are not real, as he has never seen one. 'Eight and twenty... and never a ghost I have seen as yet.' The narrator seems to be quite sure that he will return from the room having seen nothing and therefore proving

  2. Shades Of Grey- A Short Story

    him was flattened and covered with a bright, cheery face, so quickly that his father wondered if he had been imagining Timmy's mood, a reflection of his own perhaps. How long did the doctor say? 5 days at most? He might be seeing the effects already. "How're you feeling Timmy-my-boy?"

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