`'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
H. G Wells created fear and suspense in 'The Red Room' in many ways.
He raises the suspense level mainly through the personalities of the
three old custodians, with language, description and their actions.
The man with the withered arm gives aid with increasing the suspense
level with his repetitions of the phrase 'It's your own choosing.'. It
is a warning repeated three times, an effect used in 'The Signalman as
well. The repetitions of a phrase or an action three times is an
element used by writers to increase fear and suspense because the
number three is believed to be an unlucky number, although at that
time when there was superstition and questions of witches and the
supernatural, it would have given a much better effect. Wells also
raises fear with the old woman always staring at the fire, 'the old
woman sat staring hard into the fire, her pale eyes wide open.' And
'her eyes fixed steadily on the fire.' I have come to learn that that
is because fire was a symbol of security at that time and in some
cases today although now the television is the main symbol of
security. On top of that, the description of the second old man is
very strong and vivid and makes t...
... middle of paper ...
... the story is different for each. 'The Signalman' is a lot
slower than 'The Red Room' that jumps right into the excitement and
suspense. Although the technique Dickens used also creates suspense
because he makes the reader want to read on from the beginning to know
the answers to enquiries created at the beginning of the story.
In conclusion, I feel that suspense is mainly created through the dark
and scary settings, awkwardness of the characters and the descriptions
of the nerve wrecking situations that excite readers a lot. I think
that 'The Signalman' is the most suspenseful story because 'The Red
Room' is more exciting and thrilling than suspenseful and 'The
Signalman' again I mention has so many questions that even people who
finish the story still can't answer like how we are not sure whether
or not the spectre actually exists or was it a vision.
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