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Analysis of The Red Room and The Signalman

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The Red Room was written to show that there could be nothing wrong with something but it could still cause fear by building up tension by using sound, colour, language, characters and sentence structure, and then using this tension to make you read on through the story to find out what happens to the narrator and what happens to the room which he is investigating.

What happens in the red room is that the narrator is sent to investigate the red room which is meant to be a fearful room in Lorraine castle but the only thing to fear is fear because he puts his own candle out and in his fear of that he puts his other candles out because he is running around to try and relight the candles. The Signalman was written to show how someone’s own fear can cause then to take their own life by not listening to warnings by his friends. What happens in the Signalman is that the signalman keeps seeing death and warnings of death and he wants to know how he can help the people who he sees dying.

The narrator then tells him to just concentrate on his job, and that’s what he does even when the narrator is screaming at him to move away from the line before he is run over by the train. The Red Room builds up tension by using sound, colour, language, characters and sentence structure. H. G. Wells uses colour to describe the characters in vivid detail he shows this by ‘Hung pale and pink from his decaying yellow teeth. ‘ By using this quote the characters get described intensely which includes more tension as maybe the characters are dangerous.

He also uses colour by creating an atmosphere, and the reader can find it easier to imagine, what the character in the book is going through. He shows this by ‘a red light that scared off the shadows. ‘ This shows the poet using the use of colours to describe things that can stand out vividly. He also uses colour in the description of characters appearance he shows this by ‘his eyes were covered by a shade, and his lower up, half averted, hung pale and pink from his decaying yellow teeth. ‘ He shows how old the man is and creates an image of the character very clearly.

The author uses sound by introducing a new character with some sound images which create tension, he shows this by ‘the sound of a stick and a shambling step on the flags in the passage outside, and the door creaked. ‘ He uses sound images to introduce a new character to scare the reader and create an air of tension surrounding the new character. Wells makes the old people sound like a monotonous noise trying to make him believe the house is haunted, he shows this by ‘I half suspected the old people were trying to enhance the spiritual terrors of their house by their droning insistence.

He uses the word droning because the word droning brings the word brainwashing to mind as if the old people were trying to brain wash him into believing the house is haunted. He also uses sound to make the reader believe the character is going paranoid, this is shown by ‘listening to the rustling that I fancied I heard. ‘ This shows that with the characters fear he starts hearing things. The author uses language to build up tension by making the narrator speak old English, ‘eight-and-twenty years” Said I, “I have lived, and never a ghost have I seen as yet. He speaks like this because of when the story was written they talked in old English.

He also adds tension and fear by the way they talk of the room with a reddish tinge, he shows this by ‘but if you go to the red room tonight, this night at all nights, you go alone! ‘ he does this because talking in this manner creates fear, you do not know why they won’t go, and what is special about this night. ‘ He also uses repeated sentences to build up tension by. The first fourth fifth and fourteenth paragraphs say ‘the man with the withered arm says “it is your own choosing. This is done to emphasise that the man with the withered arm feels that he has no responsibility for what the man is going to do.

Wells also uses character to build up tension by talking about a duke who had died in the room, ‘in which the young duke had died. ‘ This shows that the people who entered the room haven’t returned. He also builds tension by not giving the characters a name, ‘the old woman sat’ and ‘said the man with the withered arm. ‘ This makes you want to read on to find out who the characters are. The also wants to make the old people look old and crippled, ‘the man with the withered arm.

He does this to make the old people look grotesque and deformed. The author uses sentence structure to build up tension by using repetition, ‘it’s your own choosing’ is repeated three times in the first two pages, he does this because repeated phrases can build up fear which makes you want to read on. He also uses complex sentences during descriptions, ‘something inhuman in senility, some-thing crouching and atavistic; the human qualities seem to drop. ‘ The use of complex sentences and semi colons and commas, and for the introduction description information.

H. G. Wells also uses personification by, ‘shadows cower and quiver. ‘ This personifies the shadows and the statues. Cower and quiver suggests that the statues, shadows show the same fear as the narrator is feeling. In The Signalman Charles Dickens builds up tension by using; the plot, the setting, the characters, the atmosphere and the signalman’s story. The plot plays an important role in any story but in this plot the Narrator meets the Signalman who is very troubled by what he believes is a supernatural being.

The Narrator spends a lot of time watching him walk and listening to his troubles and trying to help him by being rational. The story ends with the death of the Signalman suggesting that what he had been visualising was a premonition of his own death. Dickens uses the setting by making it a lonely railway cutting and a signal box with a tunnel which would be a dark, foggy, cold and damp at night but at day it would still be a mysterious place set in the late 1800’s you can tell this by when it uses, steam trains, lamps and telegraphs.

The author uses the Signalman as a troubled demented, hard and precise worker, very responsible, lonely, educated man who had fallen into bad company but accepted his lot in life. The Narrator is a kind man, a gentleman in society, and a good listener he is also rational because he helps the Signalman through his problems by providing explanations for all strange happenings. Also he is calming person and respects the Signalman and his job. The atmosphere is tense at the beginning created by the Signalman’s questions.

The atmosphere is also dark, damp and cold to make the signal box a dark and disturbing place where only a handful of people would dare to go to. This also makes the railway clearing and tunnel appear in the same way to build up fear and tension which make you want to read on. The Signalman’s story is filled with tension throughout the story and by the time of the end the tension is greater because the Signalman is tense and scared and his movements and language show this. He draws the reader and narrator into the story by building up this tension and fear.

The similarities between The Red Room and The Signalman are that they both build up tension using sound, colour, language, and sentence structure. For example with sound they both use sound images, ‘then he began to cough and splutter again. ‘ From The Red Room and ‘Just then, there came a vague vibration in the earth and air, quickly changing into a violent pulsation,’ from The Signalman. Both of these stories create tension through sound images although they are written by different people in different times.

The stories both make the reader want to read on by using this tension. The stories also use colour images, ‘the moonlight coming by the great window on the grand staircase picked out everything in vivid black shadow or silvery illumination. ‘ From the Red Room and, ‘so steeped in the glow of an angry sunset’ this shows that both stories build up tension b using colour images. Both stories also depend on use of language. For example both stories use old English, ‘eight-and-twenty years’ from the Red Room and, ‘halloa! Below there! ‘ From the Signalman.

Another main characteristic that builds up tension is sentence structure for example both stories use repetition, for example. ‘It’s your own choosing’ is repeated three times in the first two pages, and ‘halloa! Below there! ‘ is repeated twice in the first two paragraphs. In conclusion both these stories make you want to read on to find out what happens to the characters and the narrator. Both stories are interesting and build up tension and fear by using sound, colour, language, characters and sentence structure. This makes the reader read on to find out what happens.

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