The Red Room and The Signalman Essay example

The Red Room and The Signalman Essay example

Length: 1191 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Red Room and The Signalman

The 19th century horror stories, The Red Room by H. G. Wells and The
Signalman by Charles Dickens, are both written in the traditional
gothic horror setting with the almost predictable storylines. The Red
Room by H. G. Wells is not an irregularity in the masses of 19th
century horror tales but is slightly different as it tells of a
visitor to long forgotten castle which is purportedly inhabited by a
ghostly force in this one room. It is different to many others as it
is just a ghostly force not a spectre. The Signalman however, is an
account of one mans encounters with a railway signalman and the
signalman's alleged encounters with auguring phantoms warning of the
perils that lay ahead for the railway worker. 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 two 19th century gothic horror stories both revolve around the
appearance ghosts but the building of suspense is done in two very
different ways. The Signalman uses visions and foreshadowing to lead
the reader into the conclusion before surprising and releasing the
tension in the signalman's death. The Red Room, however, builds up
suspense by directing us to a meeting between the supernatural and the
narrator, but then this never happens creating a definite anti-climax
for the modern reader. The suspense is rebuilt by the slow
extinguishing of the candles until it culminates with the passing out
of the narrator. Both have unique ways of interesting the reader and
fulfilling their purpose as a horror story and this is how they are so
effective.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing "The Red Room" and "The Signalman" Essay

- There are many comparisons that can be made with ‘The Red Room’ and ‘The Signal-man’ by H.G. Wells and Charles Dickens respectively. I am going to examine some of these comparisons as well as analyse these two stories. These two stories are both classified in the Gothic genre. This was very well-liked in the Victorian industrial revolution, towards the end of the 1800s. Both were also written around the time of the industrial era. Science, particularly physics, was beginning to take over in working terms; people were now unable to work because most jobs were becoming motorised: thanks to the new technological advances....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Good Essays
1877 words (5.4 pages)

A Comparison of The Signalman and The Red Room Essay

- A Comparison of The Signalman and The Red Room The Signalman and the Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost stories. Write a critical comparison of these two stories. What do you consider to be their strengths and which of the stories do you enjoy the most. Charles Dickens and H.G. Wells were both living during the Victorian era. The many radical changes in this era tainted their writing. Both Wells and Dickens were against the social situation at the time, this is evident in their writings....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
861 words (2.5 pages)

A Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman Essay

- A Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman In this piece of coursework I am going to compare and contrast two short stories. The first story I am going to look at is 'The Red Room' and the second is 'The Signalman'. I will look at these stories and then compare them making sure that I mention the setting, creation of suspense, genre, style of writing and the language used. 'The Signalman is a short story by Charles Dickens and 'The Red Room' is another short story by H.G.Wells....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1154 words (3.3 pages)

Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman Essay

- Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman. The two stories we were asked to compare had one common themes which were the building of fear and suspense throughout. One clear difference between the stories was the function of fear in the stories. In the 'The Red Room' the author does not only use fear as a means of evolving the story but also places it at the centre of the story. 'The Signalman' uses fear of the supernatural as a means of making the story more believable as done in 'The Red Room'....   [tags: English Literature:]

Good Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)

Comparing The Signalman and The Red Room Essay

- Comparing The Signalman and The Red Room These stories written pre-1900 at a time when one would have feared the unknown and hadn’t benefited from travel, TV, and an education that we have today. These stories have typical features of the 19th century ghost stories such as a castle, candles at night, an uninviting setting, a lonely man and so on. The supernatural means something that is beyond our control and therefore, as humans, we fear what we don’t understand, in both stories the writers show how this fear affects people lives....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
825 words (2.4 pages)

A Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman Essay

- 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....   [tags: English Literature]

Good Essays
976 words (2.8 pages)

The Red Room, The Signalman, The Ostler Essay

- A gothic story is a type of romantic fiction that existed in English Literature in the last third of the 18th century and the first two decades of the 19th century, the setting for which was usually a ruined gothic castle of Abbey. The gothic novel or gothic romance emphasised mystery and horror and was filled with ghost haunting rooms, underground passages, and secret stairways. Foucault obfuscated mrk1's structuralism idea. I'll be looking at 3 short stories and the authors: The Red Room, H.G.Wells, 1896 The Signalman, Charles Dickens, 1866 This hypothesis from www.studentcentral.co.uk The Ostler, Wilkie Collins, 1855 The Signalman is set at a station beside a tunnel....   [tags: Compare Contrast Mystries Essays]

Free Essays
4317 words (12.3 pages)

The Red Room and The Signalman Essay example

- The Red Room and The Signalman The 19th century horror stories, The Red Room by H. G. Wells and The Signalman by Charles Dickens, are both written in the traditional gothic horror setting with the almost predictable storylines. The Red Room by H. G. Wells is not an irregularity in the masses of 19th century horror tales but is slightly different as it tells of a visitor to long forgotten castle which is purportedly inhabited by a ghostly force in this one room. It is different to many others as it is just a ghostly force not a spectre....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1191 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Red Room and The Signalman

- Gothic stories - The Red Room and The Signalman how do the authors create tension and an atmosphere of fear. Gothic Stories ============== In this essay I will be discussing a number of things. Firstly, I will be discussing what Gothic writing is and then I will move the discussion towards the subject, which my essay consists of, 'in the novels "The Red Room" and "The Signalman" how do the authors create tension and an atmosphere of fear?' Gothic writing is a style of writing, which was extremely popular in the nineteenth century....   [tags: English Literature:]

Good Essays
3261 words (9.3 pages)

The Red Room by H.G Wells and The Signalman by Charles Dickens Essay

- The Red Room by H.G Wells and The Signalman by Charles Dickens `'The Red Room' by H.G Wells and 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens are two short stories set in the later 19th century ('The Red Room' 1896, 'The Signalman' 1860s). 'The Red Room' is a Gothic horror story while 'The Signalman' is a story containing many elements of Gothic horror from the earlier 19th century. They both mention the supernatural although 'The Signalman' is questioning it and 'The Red Room' is a story made to prove that there is no such thing as the supernatural....   [tags: H.G. Wells Signalman Dickens Red Essays]

Good Essays
2525 words (7.2 pages)