People were also becoming increasingly interested in supernatural events such as mesmerism. These two short stories catered to the needs of the Victorians, which is probably why they were so popular. H.G Wells’ ‘Red Room’ was written in 1896. The story sees an overconfident ghost hunter trying to disprove the myth that the red room is haunted by spending a night there. Charles Dickens’ ‘The Signalman’ was written in 1866.
In the same way, the genre of "The Red Room", which is of course a gothic mystery, accentuated the horror of haunted rooms, secret passages and stairways. This allowed H. G. Wells to show how the Victorian social standing contributed to the overall appearance of neglect and welfare of the three oppressive untamed custodians. This was used for eff... ... middle of paper ... ... of literature, relate more to each other, than with the earlier piece. This is because the way in which the authors portray characters and their personalities through such short stories differs immensely from that of Dickens' style of writing. However, just because I have made this point, does not automatically mean that, "The Signalman" does not bare any resemblance upon the writing from the late Victorian era, because it does in that the use of settings and uses of light and dark symbolism remain the same throughout the period.
They both have a beginning where the authors set the scene using a range of literary features such as; adjectives, alliteration and repetition. Just some examples of alliteration in ‘The Man with the Twi... ... middle of paper ... ... have appealed to a Victorian audience’s sense of the supernatural. He and Neville St Clair are the central characters in the play, rather then the narrator in it. In the red room the narrator is mostly the central character. He is initially presented as supercilious; this is implied when he says, ‘I Can assure you… it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me’.
Style and Content of The Red Room and The Judge's House Using reference to style and content I will explain how and why these two short stories are typical 19th century stories. The two short stories that we have read, ' The Red Room' by H.G. Wells and 'The Judges House' by Bram Stoker, are heavily concerned with the supernatural world, with people in the Victorian era preoccupied with ghosts. When Darwin wrote his book 'The Origin of Species' this hugely questioned Christian beliefs. People were no longer sure of religion, and became very superstitious, with Ghost stories became very popular.
Using Language to Describe Allegorical Figures Milton and Spenser are both describing awful situations in their relative poems, Milton concentrating on an empty existence, filled with gloom and despair; in fact the very description is of gloom and despair, whilst Milton is describing an encounter with the gates of hell itself, and indeed two terrible creatures, causing an atmosphere of pure and utter evil flocculated with horror. Milton's language suggests ultimate evil, words that over centuries have been distorted to lessen their original dramatic meaning. We casually use words like "terrible," when describing the weather. In Milton's poem, words like "terrible" exist; to talk about unimaginable terror filled situations. When Milton uses the phrase "terrible as hell," he is saying it is so terrible; it is beyond any humans' comprehension.
However the story takes a gothic twist and due to alcoholism... ... middle of paper ... ...the time of their publication. However people could not resist the lure of an ‘escape’ offered by the gothic novels and short fictions, the exploration of the horrifying consequences that could be brought around by the new science of the time such as in the stories ‘The Lifted Veil’ and ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, which then could lead on to novels such as ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and ‘The Black Cat’ both of which feature a character descending into madness, a ‘illness’ much feared at the time. Novels like ‘The Black Cat’ and ‘The Lifted Veil’ also offer the idea of the ‘supernatural’, something that fascinated the Victorians as well as instilled fear in them. Overall, in my opinion, the elements of gothic in fiction sensationalised the stories being told and created an allure that was irresistible both to the Victorians and the modern reader today.
This links directly to the Gothic genre, drawing attention to the allegedly haunted ‘Red Room’. Similarly in the first sentence attention is instantaneously grasped ‘It will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me’, making a ghost feel almost tangible to the reader as well as leaving them asking questions, especially as the story develops and centres around an unnamed protagonist. This is equally important because the ‘Red Room’ is written in first person, which makes the story more personal and makes the reader feel a direct connection with this unknown narrator. It seems only knowing one viewpoint restricts the reader's knowledge and therefore many key details are omitted resulting in an element of ambiguity. Initially Wells raises the suspense level through introducing the reader to the personalities of the three ‘ancient’ and ‘grotesque custodians’.
The suspense in both is used to accentuate the series of events leading up to the conclusions of the stories. The gothic horror genre was, as aforementioned, widely used in novels which had predominated in the last two thirds of the 18th century and continued into the 19th. The authors of these two short stories, The Signalman published in 1866 and The Red Room in 1896, were probably inspired to write such themed works by literary greats of the early 19th century like Mary Shelley and to a lesser extent Edgar Allen Poe. In turn these stories may have inspired authors later in the century such as Robert Louis Stevenson who gave us The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or Bram Stoker and Dracula. A key variance in the two novels is that The Signalman dates itself through the railway train theme but The Red Room tells us only of the location not of the time so maintains an air of mystique ... ... middle of paper ... ...haunt poor mortal man, and that is in all its nakedness - Fear!"
These stories are strongly related to Victorian beliefs, which were mainly superstition. The reason for this is that the Victorians were slightly uneducated, and didn’t know better. Ghosts, witches, supernaturalism and black magic were the main focus of these short stories. ‘The Signalman’ provides a fine example into how Victorian railways differ from those ones today. Victorian railways were extremely dangerous, and a signalman’s job was exceptionally strenuous and demanding.
On either side, a dripping-wet wall of jagged stone, excluding all view but a strip of sky; the perspective one way only a crooked prolongation of this great dungeon." In that extract the dripping-wet wall of jagged stone excluding the view of the sky appeals to three of our senses, touch, because it is wet, sound, because it's dripping and sight because of the strip of sky. The metaphor of the dungeon helps add to this as we think of dungeons as dark, dank, horrible places. Another effective extract from 'The Signalman' is "it had an earthy, deadly smell." In 'An Arrest' there is a description "when he was deep in shadow and he knew the other was in moonlight" that plays on our sense of sight.