The Signalman and The Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth

The Signalman and The Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth

Length: 2137 words (6.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Signalman and The Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth
century ghost stories

How effectively do the authors of “The Red Room” and “The Signalman”
create a sense of suspense in the story

"The Signalman" and "The Red Room" are well known examples of
nineteenth century ghost stories. The Signalman by Charles Dickens was
written in 1865, which was the time of developing literacy. This short
story was presented in three parts as it was previously in a
periodical form; this technique was also used to create suspense and
therefore leaves the reader at a cliff hanger after each episode,
which in turn motivates the reader to read on. There were many rumors
about this story as many people suggested that Dickens wrote this
story as a remembrance of the day he was involved in a railway
accident which killed ten people. Furthermore, He was writing in the
Victorian times, when there was a massive change in technology as new
inventions were created, e.g. the Train.

In comparison The Red Room was written only thirty years later in 1894
by HG Wells although it feels more timeless. At that time technology
had improved intensely, nevertheless Wells still imitated the old
fashion gothic literature style writing, which is ironic, due to the
time. Both stories have managed to engage its audience by creating
suspense and tension. Besides that both stories have been written in
first person, this in sequence makes it sinister, in a way because we
get to know the narrator’s impressions and feelings.

The authors of both stories have selected discomforting places in
which to set their story, they are made more eerie because that in the
19th century time many people believed in ghosts and the supernatural.
First of all The Signalman is located in a very isolated place, as the
narrator describes “as solitary and dismal a place as I ever saw” This
suggest that it is a remote, despondent place which is suitable for
the supernatural to exist. Before even meeting the Signalman, the
narrator says “steeped in the glow of an angry sunset” and “so little
sunlight that it had an earthy, deadly smell” the use of
pathetic-fallacy and symbolism suggests that it’s getting dark and
describes a sense of imminent death. The reader is also told it is
“this great dungeon” the oxymoron used suggests confinement; a place
where it’s hard to escape, this therefore makes it more sinister in a
way as dungeons are dark and cold and give a sense of fear.

The darkness prominently reduces visibility between the narrator and
the signalman as said “'I was near enough to have touched him” and

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Signalman and The Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth." 123HelpMe.com. 03 Apr 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=100756>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Signalman and The Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth Essay

- The Signalman and The Red Room are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost stories How effectively do the authors of “The Red Room” and “The Signalman” create a sense of suspense in the story "The Signalman" and "The Red Room" are well known examples of nineteenth century ghost stories. The Signalman by Charles Dickens was written in 1865, which was the time of developing literacy. This short story was presented in three parts as it was previously in a periodical form; this technique was also used to create suspense and therefore leaves the reader at a cliff hanger after each episode, which in turn motivates the reader to read on....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
2137 words (6.1 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]

Research Papers
861 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Best-Known Examples of the Perils of Obedience

- ... Summers, her manager, led her to the restaurants office and began the process, doing what the caller told her to step by step. Of course she claims that she asked him questions about why she had to do this, but he sounded like a legitimate police officer to her. After a few hours she told “Officer Scott” that she had to get back to the counter, and at his request she called her fiance. He forced her to perform sexual deeds at the callers command, and threatened to hit her if she refused. He was not the only one....   [tags: holocaust, prison, zimbardo]

Research Papers
1281 words (3.7 pages)

Woman in the Nineteenth Century, by Margaret Fuller Essay

- Woman in the Nineteenth Century, by Margaret Fuller In her essay, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, Margaret Fuller discusses the state of marriage in America during the 1800‘s. She is a victim of her own knowledge, and is literally considered ugly because of her wisdom. She feels that if certain stereotypes can be broken down, women can have the respect of men intellectually, physically, and emotionally. She explains why some of the inequalities exist in marriages around her. Fuller feels that once women are accepted as equals, men and women will be able achieve a true love not yet known to the people of the world....   [tags: Woman in the Nineteenth Century Margaret Fuller]

Research Papers
1136 words (3.2 pages)

Benefits of the Red Drum Fishery Essay

- Red Drum populations along the east coast and gulf coast of the United States, have drastically diminished over the past thirty years. The cause of the drop in numbers of this beautiful fish is primarily due to the overfishing from both recreational and commercial fishermen. Federal and State governments have implemented measures in to prevent this fish from being targeted, and to make sure that the population numbers increase. Not only is this fish important for the fisheries in which they thrive, but they also contribute to the biodiversity of a number of different ecosystems....   [tags: Red Drum Populations]

Free Essays
2186 words (6.2 pages)

The Red Bull Drink Essay

- The Red Bull drink that was first sold in Austria in 1987 has been successful over the last twenty-nine years, by representing the success of a marketing timing strategy. This product that is sold in more than 169 countries (Red Bull, 2016), the caffeinated formula uses marketing that is geared towards a younger audience. The target audience is looking to move away from drinks such as soda. When the product was launched it was a completely new item and found itself in a category of its own. This case study will utilize a four step analysis framework; the first step is to analyze the current situation; secondly, the core elements should be analyzed and recorded; third step is to formulate, ev...   [tags: Red Bull, Marketing, Energy drink, Caffeine]

Research Papers
705 words (2 pages)

Essay on The Red Room and The Cone by H.G. Wells

- The Red Room and The Cone by H.G. Wells Both stories are Gothic mystery stories and were written around the late eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century. These sorts of stories usually have a setting of a dark, abandoned and scary place. The Red Room is about a young man who visits a castle and feels he must spend a night in a mysterious room that is suspected to be haunted. The Cone is about a woman having an affair with a man called Raut. The story is based around the husband who is called Horrocks seeing Raut with his wife....   [tags: The Red Room The Cone H.G. Wells Essays]

Research Papers
1150 words (3.3 pages)

The Red Room and The Judge's House - Typical Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories?

- The Red Room and The Judge's House - Typical Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories. Nineteenth century ghost stories are typical of the gothic genre. They are referred to as stereotypical, because in the period they were written in, it was the practice to include several distinctive elements which are now exclusively associated with this genre. 'The Red Room' by H. G. Wells (1894) and 'The Judge's House' by Bram Stoker (1891) will be discussed in this essay to assess them as distinctive examples of ghost stories....   [tags: English Literature]

Research Papers
1499 words (4.3 pages)

The Signalman and The Red Room as Characteristic Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories

- The Signalman and The Red Room as Characteristic Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories There are many characteristics that help to make up a typical nineteenth century ghost story. During this essay certain aspects will be discussed to find out if ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens and ‘The Red Room’ by H.G. Wells contain the elements that constitute a ghost story. The main elements of a typical ghost story include the stereotypical aspects such as distortion of light to create shadow, isolation, and fear as well as emotive imagery, the inclusion of a non-believer/believer and having a suitable ending e.g....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1511 words (4.3 pages)

The Known World by Edward Jones Essay

- A new outlook on pre-Civil War slavery is portrayed in Edward Jones' novel "The Known World". Unlike many well-known novels that cover slavery, Jones chose to focus on the thoughts and emotions of both the slaves and slave-owners and how they interact with each other. Set in a wealthy Virginia county, the practice of owning slaves is common to the white man and the black man as well. The main focus of the story is Henry Townsend, a black former slave that was bought out of slavery by his father, who was also a former slave....   [tags: Edward Jones Known World Book Review]

Research Papers
1018 words (2.9 pages)

therefore increases the tension as both men get closer to each other.

The use of sounds also plays a big role in creating suspense as “Vague
vibrations” turns into a “Violent pulsation”. The vibration of the
ground captures the senses and in turn adds more tension. However
instead of scaring the reader, tension is lost when Dickens enlightens
the reader by saying it was a train. In my opinion the sense of
suspense is also reduced at this point due to the change in the
climax.

On the other hand The Red Room is located in a castle, not just an
ordinary castle but a haunted one. This straight away changes the way
the reader thinks about the story, because first of all, a castle is
big but in contrast to The Signalman, is enclosed and only focused on
one room: The Red Room. The color red also symbolizes danger and death
which in turn is also used to create suspense and tension like in The
Signalman. The use of shadows and symbolism foreshadows something
might be there and will cause trouble later “The echoes rang up and
down the spiral staircase, and a shadow came sweeping up after me, and
one fled before me into the darkness overhead” The spiral staircase
also raises the tension level of the reader as it is curved, and the
narrator will never know what he or she is facing or going to face if
he goes around the bend. The use of shadows also makes the ghost seem
more alive as it is said to be moving. What’s worse is that route to
the red room is very confusing and foreshadows, when on the way to the
red room, the presence of supernatural things occur.

The language in both stories differ however both attract and engage
the reader. The Signalman starts of by “Halloa! Below there!” it
starts of with dialogue which is somewhat obviously trying to gain the
attention of the reader, as the reader would want to know who is
saying that and he or she is saying it too, which in turn creates a
mystery and makes you read on. The air of mystery is again sustained
when the narrator says “Is there any path by which I can come down and
speak to you?” this again creates confusion and curiosity, in the
reader thinking to him or herself, why would he want to speak to the
signalman?

Dickens has also used a lot of description “I found a rough zigzag
descending path...” gives a sense of suspense in the atmosphere.
However Dickens, does not always have long descriptive paragraphs, but
has broken the paragraphs in to parts, as long paragraphs are followed
by short thrusts of dialogue between characters. This likewise seems
to help hold the reader’s attention because

The adjectives such as "solitary", "dismal" and “jagged” were also
used to create a sense of suspense, the use of onomatopoeia such as
"dripping wet" makes it sound more realistic and this also makes the
place sound very isolated and alienated.

Emotive language such as “tomb” is also used to remind the reader
about death.

The phrase "Terminating in a gloomy red light and the gloomier
entrance to a black tunnel" clearly shows that Dickens uses the idea
of the symbolic colors. This in turn helps create an image of
descending into hell. The black tunnel makes us think of the narrator
entering hell from heaven. The phrase “as if I had left the natural
world” indicates that the writer himself believes in faith and is
basically suggesting that he has left the known world.

Like The Signalman, The Red Room, also starts off with dialogue “I can
assure you…..that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me”
In Well’s story, he is insisting that it will take a very scary
ominous object to frighten him. As most ghost stories or ghost movies
there always has to be one person who is not scared, and for this one
it is the narrator. This makes the reader want to find out about what
he will do to meet a ghost.

Alliteration “deafens and darkness” makes it sound more dramatic, as
well as the phrase “the nights of all nights”, this makes you curious
and foreshadows that something terrible will happen. The wide use of
metaphors such as “tongue of light” and “ocean of mystery” creates
more tension and dilemma for the reader. This is because, all the
descriptions of the house use imagery to clarify the darkness and
which in turn creates fear inside The Red Room.

The use of personification such as “the moonlight picked out
everything in vivid black shadow or silvery illumination” exaggerates
the darkness and eeriness of the room, this creates imagery for the
reader and makes them feel as if they are actually visualizing the
room.

The use of “candles” instead of light or electricity also plays a
part in using old objects or forms, instead of using modern
technology; this is likely done to create a realistic sinister effect
of the olden days. This in turn makes the story scarier in a way,
because mostly supernatural presents occur by using candles and olden
objects; this also makes it seem gothic in style. The phrase “I could
warn him not to trip over” creates a sense of humor and a break
through, from all the tension, in contrast to The Signalman, Dickens
has no sign of humor in his story, this could likely be because, he
wants the reader to feel insecure and scared all the way through his
story.

Both stories are written in the first person as said “seemed to make
the place strike colder to me, but I said no more”- The Signalman and
“I postulated quite unreservedly that nothing supernatural could
happen- The Red Room, this creates suspense as we get first hand
information from the writer as if we are actually there in his shoes.

The Signalman and The Red Room, both consist of eerie characters. The
Signalman only consists of two main characters where as The Red Room
consists of many. As said in The Signalman “A dark sallow man” it
shows that the narrator is trying to build up the tension as he gets
closer to the signalman. We also learn that the signalman himself is
quite an intelligent man “Worked at fractions and decimals”, this
straight away strikes the reader in to thinking and asking himself,
why would such a person be working as a signalman? This technique of
fooling the reader to ask questions adds mystery to his identity and
builds up more suspense. Mystery is again present when the narrator is
talking to the signalman, but as they talk, the signalman looks away
towards the tunnel a couple of times. This in turn creates an
anticipation to know what’s going to happen next. The signalman is
clearly going to play a major role in this story as he is described
“Not even then removing his eyes from mine” these weird signs of the
signalman prove that he is mysterious and will be involved very much
in the story. The signalman also tells the narrator not to say these
words “Halloa! Below there!” it evidently tells the readers that there
is something about those words, in which they make the signalman
scared. The narrator also says “I will come at eleven” this keeps the
tension as they are going to meet each other in the night, instead of
meeting in daylight.

Contrastively, The Red Room contains more characters, a young twenty
eight year old man, who is sceptical about ghost, and three old
people. The old lady and the man warns “This night of all nights!” and
“It’s your own choosing” which shows and creates suspense and makes
the feel that maybe a ghost or something supernatural maybe present.
The warnings are said many times and also could be a technique of
tension building. The old people are described ;One man with a
“withered arm”… “old woman…swayed from side to side”, other man with
“a single crutch”, “bent wrinkled” “eyes covered by a shade constantly
coughs and splutters” The great description adds more tension in to
the story because the three grotesque and distorted old people make
the setting sound all weird with a sense of decay or death about them
and which in turn makes the narrator feel “uncomfortable” with them.
The young man is also very confident about going in to The Red Room
even though he is warned many times “You go alone” – the old man…
“Very well, I answered” this shows that the young man looks down on
the old people, even though he is suppose to believe them because they
have been staying there for a much longer time. Many clues are given
by the old people such as “There’s a candle on the slab outside the
door said the man with the withered arm, looking at my feet as he
addressed me” the way the man looked down at his feet indicates that
he is scared and also suggest that there would likely be something
there. At the end of The Red Room, the old people have to save the
young boy anyway; this makes the story have a moral – which would
likely be: “don’t be over confident and trust older people”

In conclusion I think The Red Room by HG Wells creates more suspense
than The Signalman, due to the fact it’s all set in just one room and
he has adopted the old gothic literature style which makes it very
effective. Its also has many contrasts because it starts off in
darkness and ends in daylight, whereas The Signalman ends in a twist
which also occurs in darkness. HG Wells has also used symbolism very
well and also ended with an ambiguous ending, which in turn lets the
reader decide what you would think happens. At the time the story was
written, this was a whole new concept; scary idea, the reader is also
is kept interested because he or she wants to know what is in The Red
Room.
Return to 123HelpMe.com