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Year 10 lierature coursework

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Year 10 GCSE Literature Coursework In the following essay I will be discussing the ways in which Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe evoke setting and atmosphere in their respective short stories 'The Signalman' and 'The Black Cat'. In ' The Signalman', there are various themes, one of which is technology, for the setting is at a railway signal box, which was then one of the very latest in cutting edge technology and industrialization. This theme could also link to a different novel by Dickens, 'Hard Times', which is a novel based primarily on technology as well. Another is Dickens's attention to class, giving the story a Victorian idea. As well as having a historical context, there's also a personal and social context and a literal and metaphorical context. This helps with the whole effect and atmosphere of it being a ghost story. The atmosphere is also helped with frequent details of imagery that also contribute to the overall mood of the story and there's also ...read more.


In 'The Signalman', the narrator is in the first person. This helps give a sense of the story being more personal and imposing on the reader. It also gives a sense of being more involved in the story, that's always important in a ghost story. The setting for 'The Signalman' is also very important, as it shows the social context very well. It relates to the fact that in the Victorian times, class was a very important aspect of everyday life. The class here is showing that the signalman, who works in the signal box where the story takes place, is too educated to be such a low rank of social class as a signalman. The fact that we aren't told much about the signalman, and that he's not really described to the reader, helps with the effect of it being quite secretive, and there being suspense and wanting to read on to see who he really is. ...read more.


The use of exclamation marks too, makes it sound rather threatening towards the reader and to the cat. Not much imagery is really used however, which I feel if a good touch, as if there was any let alone too much, the sense of suspense and the story constantly moving goes. However, there is one short piece of imagery near the end of 'The Black Cat', that sticks in my mind because of how powerful an image it conjures up: 'Upon it's head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire'. The endings of both stories are very important. I think that the ending of 'The Black Cat' is quite drastic and a shock, even though you know that it's coming: 'I had walled up the monster up within the tomb'. To conclude as you have seen, I've shown how two short stories both have very different ways in which they are able show the atmosphere and setting of their respective stories with great effect. ...read more.

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