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Write an essay showing how elements of mystery are used in Signalman, Monkeys Paw and Napoleon and the Spectre

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Write an essay showing how elements of mystery are used in 'Signalman, Monkeys Paw and Napoleon and the Spectre' 'The Monkey's Paw', 'The Signal Man' and the 'Napoleon and the Spectre' use elements and genres of mysteries. In all three stories you witness a sense of loneliness and the unknown from their settings, to their characters, to the way in which they deal with the supernatural. 'The Monkey's Paw' is set in a deserted place where no one is around. Words used in the story like "Blinds were drawn", "Fire", "Grimly", foreshadows of trouble to come. Foreshadowing is a technique in which the writer hints at the events to come. Sometimes, authors depict events early in a story that are really microcosms of the plot that is soon to unfold. It is set at "night when it is cold and wet", which is a fine setting for mystery. WW Jacobs uses archaic words throughout and builds up tension throughout the story. Charles Dickens's description of the setting in 'The Signalman' is extremely lonely and isolated. 'His figure was foreshortened and shadowed, down in the deep trench. The 'Signalman's' location is 'extremely deep' and 'unusually precipitous'. On his way down to reach the signalman, he comes across a 'dripping wet wall of jagged stone' this 'excluded the view but a strip of sky'. ...read more.


It is showing instantly that the Signalman is not ordinary and his actions are eccentric, for example when the narrator calls to him 'Halloa below there' he looks down the line instead of up where the voice came from. The Signalman's job is to 'change that signal, to trim those lights, and to turn this iron handle now and then'. This is what he does for a living and his 'routine of his life'. The narrator is able to communicate easily with the Signalman, and it's through the narrator that we see insight into the Signalman's state of mind. In this story, it never exposed what caused the various deaths on the line, regardless of a common pattern of events. Something has happened, but the reason for it is left open to interpretation. In the "Napoleon and the Spectre", Bronte, the romantic writer basis her short story on a famous emperor called Napoleon Bonaparte. The story begins with exploit of Napoleon lying in his bed and ends with his statue of complete confusion as he drifts between the worlds of wakefulness and sleep, of reality and the supernatural. In mystery writing, sleeping is mainly used. This is because it is the obvious place where the world of reality and that dreams will collide. ...read more.


The Signalman believes he is being haunted by someone as the ghost that keeps appearing always starts with saying 'Halloa Below There'. This makes the reader think who if this is his conscience. The 'Monkey's Paw' is a story based on a magical paw that is put on power by an Indian fakir who wants to prove that 'fate ruled people's lives' and that those who don't believe this or interfere with it did so to their own sorrow. Mr Whites wish came true with the tragic death on his son bringing him money due to his wish. Although the wish came true it happened so naturally leaving the reader questioning whether it's a coincidence or superstition. Also Mrs White turns into a barmy woman who relies completely on the paw to make her son come back alive; this shows how powerful the paw actually is. The 'Napoleon and the spectre' uses wakefulness and sleep of reality and the supernatural in the story. He combines them all together and only includes detail that is needed to the stories purpose. The story also concentrates on the physical imagery of the ghost. All three stories show elements of mysteries, magic and the unknown. The mysteries are used my supernatural events in each story. Leaving the stories unsolved make the stories more interesting and mysterious and also leave the reader with something to think about and wanting to know more. ...read more.

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