A Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman

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A Comparison Between The Red Room and The Signalman

These two stories, though different, have in common their writers

intentions which is to keep the reader in suspense. We can see this

in many places in the stories, and an example of this relates to the

settings and surroundings throughout. The Victorians were very

interested in Gothic Literature and this is shown especially in the

‘Red Room’, where Wells borrowed applications such as ghosts, castles

and supernatural beings.

Furthermore we can see that the settings have been adapted and chosen

to suit the character of the story. In ‘The Signalman’ for example, we

can see a mixture of modern and supernatural settings, these reflect

the location, mainly being a deep, steep edged railway cutting, right

at the edge of a deserted tunnel. As in ‘The Red Room’, the location

reflects the character. This is shown by having a gigantic medieval

castle and long winding corridors, which then lead’s to the epicentre

of the story. More over, in both stories, we can see that they are

both set in the same type of time frame, this being during the day and

usually with dull surroundings such as a dreary, dark sky above. This

sets an excellent scene.

The narrative styles in the two stories are very similar, but both

suit there genre of story perfectly. ‘The Red Room’, is written in the

first person narrative, with the main character being the narrator

himself. This gives a very personal and detailed account and the

reader sees everything that the character sees. This is an effective

method, as it maintains suspense throughout the story. In ‘The

Signalman’, the story is also written in the first person narrative,

except with the narrator being an unnamed person. This ‘...

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...about ghosts and the after life, which

suggests they are a lot more sceptical towards it.

To conclude, I think that each story has a very strong and emotional

line of events which is very effective to all readers; especially to

the Victorians. Also I would think that they saw the two stories as

more of a scary horror book which contained recent worries and events

which they could personally relate to. Each author had very different

stories in mind, but one thing remained in both and that was the aim

to keep a rich level of suspense throughout. As a modern reader

though, I think that the stories would be seen as more of adventure

books rather than horrors and that each story comes across with its

own personal mood. To summarise, I can see that there are many

similarities between the two stories especially ones that would relate

to the Victorians beliefs.
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