Tension and Atmosphere in The Red Room by H.G.Wells, The Signalman by Charles Dickens and A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

Tension and Atmosphere in The Red Room by H.G.Wells, The Signalman by Charles Dickens and A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

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Tension and Atmosphere in "The Red Room" by H.G.Wells, "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "A Withered Arm" by Thomas Hardy


To investigate tension and atmosphere, I have looked at three pre1900
pieces- 'The Red Room' H.G.Wells, 'The Signalman,' Charles Dickens, &
'A Withered Arm' Thomas Hardy. They use a variety of different
techniques, each with their own individual style but achieving the
same overall effect. They focus on setting, description of characters
& use of language.

The Red Room is a tale of a man on a quest to discover the truth about
the legend of 'The Red Room' in Lorraine Castle, as the young man's
fate unfolds the audience are led with him, they feel his fear, hear
his thoughts and experience his terror. 'The Red Room' has such a
mystery behind it, fear itself nearly leads him to his death. A tale
that lacks warmth and everything about it instils terror.

The title of the story has a suggestive air, the word red makes the
audience think of blood, danger, and death, in 'The Signal Man,' red
is also the main focus colour for the same reasons but this time in
the form of the danger light in the mouth of the tunnel.

H.G. Wells writes in the first person so the audience can follow what
is happening and believe they are there, 'I have lived' The opening
line sets the tone of the story, and the audience is filled with
anticipation. The narrator is very confident, which is displayed
almost immediately 'I can assure you, it will take a very tangible
ghost to frighten me.' The audience is then effectively led into an
early assumption that the narrator will be proved wrong, that there
will be a ghost, and it will, most certainly frighten him.

The setting is described in clues hidden thr...


... middle of paper ...


...oy it more. Therefore this raises questions in the audiences mind,
if only he had gone straight there, he may of saved the poor man's
life, if only, he had believed him. Finally, that it now looked
incredibly doubtful that it was coincidence what the signalman had
'imagined', the words, gesture and even the appearance of the train
driver that had 'cut him down'. Pity is also a great factor in the
conclusion; it makes the story have a more memorable and sad
atmosphere. Finally the way that the narrator, whom had written the
story after it had happened, finished of by giving the audience yet
more to think about, reminding us of its obscurities, unbelievable
coincidences and in turn reinforcing the mournful atmosphere.

'close at the mouth of the tunnel, I saw the appearance of a man,
with his left sleeve across his eyes, passionately waving his right
arm.'

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