A Comparison of The Signalman and The Red Room Essay

A Comparison of The Signalman and The Red Room Essay

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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. Although Britain had many colonies,
wealth was not circulating amongst its people. This made life
unbearable for some. Dickens and Wells spoke out against this and were
concerned with the fate of human society. Dickens wrote many books
plays and pamphlets, as well as giving talks, on the effect of an
unjust society. Wells, also thought about the effect of an unjust
society, but was also interested in science.

In The Signalman much of the story takes place outside, this outside
atmosphere is embellished with plenty of detail giving it a hesitant
environment. In the Red Room the action is all inside the castle, so
the detail is described in the corridor through to the room itself.
The Signalman has a cold damp effect due to the settings. This
compliments the storyline perfectly. The "jagged stone" walls became
"oozier and wetter" as the visitor descends to the signalman. The
"dripping-wet walls" give an impression of clamminess and bitter cold.
The area where the signalman spent most of his time had "little
sunlight" it was also very gloomy. The wind ran through the tunnel and
gives the impression of leaving "the natura...


... middle of paper ...


...e of the story. The Signalman is quite difficult to grasp the full
meaning of the story, for example the visitors own words "For Gods
sake, clear the way!" are used by the train driver. The story meaning
is intricate to comprehend as the spectre seen by the signalman is
actually showing him his death. That is why every time the spectre was
seen by the signalman it was always followed by a death. I also like
The Red Room because there is a lot of detail given in the setting of
the story. The reader is inevitably waiting to hear of a spectre at
the end of the story, but the lacks of a spectre does not give a dull
finish. The ending perfectly compliments the rest of the story as the
fear is personified and makes the ending very unusual. The story has
an unusual twist at the end which gives it a far from cliché
conclusion.

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