Victorian Ghost Stories Essay

Victorian Ghost Stories Essay

Length: 936 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Victorian Ghost Stories

This essay will try and find a formula, after reading a selection of
stories and focusing on these to discover the formula. The stories
were ‘The Ostler’ by Wilkie Collins (1855), ‘The Red Room’ by
H.G.Wells (1896),’The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens (1866). To try and
prove there is a Victorian structure or formula to the stories, they
need to be analysed. This essay will analyse how effective the
openings of the stories and will discuss the techniques of the various
authors to create an effective ghost story. By way of using a modus
operandi- also called a formula. The stories are very alike, so this
leads us to believe a structure does exist. At the time of the stories
publications, it was the Victorian era of Britain. Queen Victoria was
on the throne and it was a time of new advances in technology and new
inventions, also a time of British expansion across the globe. The
stories are therefore slightly influenced by this background to when
they were written. This essay will analyse, Victorian influences as
social division, advances in technology and the Victorian interest in
the supernatural.

The openings are designed to grab the reader and make them carry on.
It can also influence the reader whether to feel the opening emotions
and feelings of the story. The stories this essay is dealing with, all
start in the middle of a scene. This immediately makes us wonder what
has happened so far. It’s as if we have eavesdropped on the stories,
only to catch a part of it. Really, because the start of story starts
randomly, we feel perplexed by it. Another interesting point is that
the stories all use a first ...


... middle of paper ...


...here. But to get a good atmosphere you need a good
structure, and vice a versa.

In conclusion, I think Victorian writers did follow a formula when
writing. But this formula is just the things that make a gothic story.
So all they would have to do was to follow the gothic principles. This
was noticed in all the stories analysed. But due to the modern (at the
time) setting of the railway in ‘the Signalman’, means today a reader
may not find it as intimidating as a Victorian reader. It does use,
however, some of the gothic traditions. Such as ghosts, curses and
senses of the supernatural. The stories are effective as mystery and
ghost themed stories. I can see this because of the use of gothic
themes. Overall, they use gothic values, but the authors use different
settings, while at the same time use the same techniques.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Basics of Ghost Stories Essay

- Basics of Ghost Stories INTRODUCTION The ghost story writer has to attract the reader's attention straight away. The way story begins is important and often links with the rest of the narrative. The opening of a short story must try to engage the reader quickly. I think all ghost stories should always have a lot of suspense in it, to create anticipation and excitement. Some symbolic object/place for example a knife, a key must play a major part in the narrative. The story should also have lots of detail to get the feeling as if the reader is there to create different types of atmospheres, such as horror, terror, and excitement....   [tags: Ghost Story Stories Ghosts Essays]

Free Essays
2011 words (5.7 pages)

Ghost Tour : Ghost Tours Essay example

- Ghost walks are the simplest and most frequently used type of ghost tour in the Great Lakes areas. Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL frequently advertise guided city tours. “Haunted Cleveland Ghost Tours has been frightening patrons for the past 16 years. Cleveland has educated and scared patrons while touring the streets depicting stories of local legends, murder and mayhem” (Haunted Cleveland, par. 2). The tours stop at sites such as the Franklin Castle, Riverside cemetery, Playhouse Square, and Grey’s Armory....   [tags: Ghost, Paranormal, Ghost hunting, Haunted house]

Good Essays
1438 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Ghost Stories

- Ghost Stories Ghost stories help us to explore the idea of an afterlife, focusing mainly on death and dying. These stories usually use our fear of death and what happens when we die to build up an atmospheric scene and to build up suspense in the reader. They also explore our feelings of what happens to us when someone we love and who is important to us dies. Ghost stories are often related to the time and place where a person may have had a very violent death, this can take on a symbolic significance to relate back to the dead....   [tags: The Signalman Charles Dickens Essays]

Good Essays
1726 words (4.9 pages)

Comparing two pre 1914 ghost stories to show how the writing creates Essay

- Comparing two pre 1914 ghost stories to show how the writing creates and sustains tension. The two ghost stories that I have chosen are, The Signalman by Charles Dickens and The Old Nurses Story by Elizabeth Gasbell. “Compare and Contrast two pre 1914 ghost stories and show how the writers create and sustain tension.” In this essay I will be discussing and comparing two pre 1914 ghost stories to show how the writing creates and sustains tension. The two ghost stories that I have chosen are, “The Signalman” by Charles Dickens and “The Old Nurses Story” by Elizabeth Gasbell....   [tags: Free Essay Writer]

Free Essays
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Is Henry James' The turn of the Screw a traditional ghost story? Essay

- Is Henry James' The turn of the Screw a traditional ghost story. Ghost stories are found way back in history, some dating back to the Victorian times. The Victorians were known to be greatly interested in ghosts and the supernatural and showed this fascination through telling ghost stories. The telling of ghost stories was used as a way of entertainment especially around Christmas time and it was also very common for upper class Victorians to participate in seances where they would try to make contact with the ghosts/spirits of their dead loved ones....   [tags: English Literature]

Good Essays
1520 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Components of a Good Ghost Story

- Components of a Good Ghost Story A good mystery novel needs to be based on life in the past similar to the Victorian era for the reason that of industrialisation and it was an era of when inventors started experimenting and creating new and bizarre ideas. In the Victorian era many stories were based around the gothical theme. The story ‘signalman’ is a ghost story, it was written in 1866 by Charles Dickens. Another example of a gothic story is the ‘red room’, which is also a ghost story or contains beings of the spiritual world written by H.G Wells in 1896....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
770 words (2.2 pages)

Victorian Times Were Hard If You Were Poor Essay

- Life in the Victorian Times were hard if you were poor. “After the passing of the Great Reform Bill, the liberal Whig leadership struck a snag. Several years of depression put the conservative Tories back in power in 1841. Wages and living conditions grew steadily worse as the industrial revolution permitted the rise of great fortunes for owners and employers along with starvation and poverty for great numbers of the working classes.” (Earl Davis, The Flint and the Flame, Page 115) Scrooge is a great example of the wealthy, who never gave to the poor and would rarely put money into charities....   [tags: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol]

Good Essays
1763 words (5 pages)

The Red Room as a Typical Ghost Story Essay

- The Red Room as a Typical Ghost Story A typical ghost story consists of various features to make it feel and seem effective. It has a supernatural theme which is present through much of the story, a mysterious setting to also give an eerie effect, for example by setting it in the dark or in an old abandoned building, some suspense and tension, victims and it is reasonably short. The story of ' The Red Room' by H .G....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
2093 words (6 pages)

A Sense of Atmosphere in Several Short Stories Essay

- A Sense of Atmosphere in Several Short Stories One of the main ways that the authors create the atmosphere in all the stories is by the setting of the scene. In some of the stories the scene is set using vivid descriptions and building it up bit by bit. In 'The Signalman' the scene is set and built up as the narrator travels further down into the cutting. "The cutting was extremely deep, and unusually precipitate. It was made through a clammy stone, that became oozier and wetter as I went down." This is effective as it helps create an eerie, scary atmosphere which emphasizes it is a scary ghost story....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
895 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on How does Charles Dickens use the ghost story genre to provoke fear?

- How does Charles Dickens use the ghost story genre to provoke fear into both the Victorian & modern reader of The Signalman. Like many other authors, Charles Dickens wrote from his own life experiences. He wrote “The Signalman” due to a horrific incidence where the train derailed at a high speed and killed 10 people. However, when it came to his ghost stories, he drew inspiration from a great imagination because of his childhood where he lived in poverty and would have come into contact with some of life’s different and not always pleasant, characters....   [tags: English Literature]

Good Essays
939 words (2.7 pages)