The Red Room by H.G Wells and The Signalman by Charles Dickens`’The Red Room’ by H.G Wells and ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickensare two short stories set in the later 19th century (‘The Red Room’1896, ‘The Signalman’ 1860s). ‘The Red Room’ is a Gothic horror storywhile ‘The Signalman’ is a story containing many elements of Gothichorror from the earlier 19th century. They both mention thesupernatural although ‘The Signalman’ is questioning it and ‘The RedRoom’ is a story made to prove that there is no such thing as thesupernatural.
H. G Wells created fear and suspense in ‘The Red Room’ in many ways.He raises the suspense level mainly through the personalities of thethree old custodians, with language, description and their actions.The man with the withered arm gives aid with increasing the suspenselevel with his repetitions of the phrase ‘It’s your own choosing.’. Itis a warning repeated three times, an effect used in ‘The Signalman aswell. The repetitions of a phrase or an action three times is anelement used by writers to increase fear and suspense because thenumber three is believed to be an unlucky number, although at thattime when there was superstition and questions of witches and thesupernatural, it would have given a much better effect. Wells alsoraises fear with the old woman always staring at the fire, ‘the oldwoman 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 thatis because fire was a symbol of security at that time and in somecases today although now the television is the main symbol ofsecurity. On top of that, the description of the second old man isvery strong and vivid and makes t…
… the story is different for each. ‘The Signalman’ is a lotslower than ‘The Red Room’ that jumps right into the excitement andsuspense. Although the technique Dickens used also creates suspensebecause he makes the reader want to read on from the beginning to knowthe answers to enquiries created at the beginning of the story.
In conclusion, I feel that suspense is mainly created through the darkand scary settings, awkwardness of the characters and the descriptionsof the nerve wrecking situations that excite readers a lot. I thinkthat ‘The Signalman’ is the most suspenseful story because ‘The RedRoom’ is more exciting and thrilling than suspenseful and ‘TheSignalman’ again I mention has so many questions that even people whofinish the story still can’t answer like how we are not sure whetheror not the spectre actually exists or was it a vision.