How Is The Atmosphere Of Mystery And

Suspense Built Up In The Two Short Stories? ?The Signal Man? An Essay, Research Paper Both of the stories are very gripping and keep you in apprehension throughout When it comes to ghost stories, both

Suspense Built Up In The Two Short Stories? ?The Signal Man? An Essay, Research Paper

Both of the stories are very gripping

and keep you in apprehension throughout When it comes to ghost stories, both

hold the general key to a first-class story, mystery. They both take a slow

approach to getting to the main climax, which encourages you to keep reading.

When making a scary film, it is a lot easier to make a viewer scared as you can

use music, sound effects, surprise elements and many other attributions,

however, when writing a book the whole approach seems to be completely

different. The writers have no special effects or music to entice the reader,

so they use very strong expressions and describe the scenery enough for you to

feel you are actually there and have a picture of the scene in your mind. This

also gives your imagination the chance to play a part which can sometimes be

the more elaborate and chilling in design then the original description.????????? The

stories have similarities between them in many areas. A main Joining point

between the two is the fact that they both only have a small number of

characters. This is better as you can follow the stories easily and pay more

attention to the detail given. You are also able to understand the characters

more deeply and get to know the surroundings described better. As opposed to

trying to figure out whose whom and what?s what. ?Both of the stories have a twist at the end,

which gives each a sense of individuality. In The Signalman the twist is all

that the people say and in their actions, as there seems to be a mysterious

connection between the spectre and all the other characters which I personally

found to be very disturbing. However the most significant connection appears to

be between the narrator and the spectre in that the narrator repeats the words

that the signalman hears from the Spectre. The clue that there is a connection

is given at the beginning of the story when the narrator and signalman first

meet. The narrator, when he first saw the signalman shouted down to him the

words, ?halloa below there?, and in departing?

the signalman asked him what made him say those exact words. ?You had no feeling that they were conveyed to you in any supernatural

way?? This shows that there must

have been some connection between the Spectre and the narrator as on their

first meeting the signalman senses something strange or even ghostly about the

narrator?s manor and words, and clearly feels a connection or else he would not

have asked. The signalman also says at one point that he mistook the narrator

for someone else, the Spectre. Also when the signalman tells the narrator of

his troubles with the Spectre, he shows him the action that he makes every time

he appears, In the narrators mind he thought of the action as saying ?for God?s

sake, clear the way?. Now what may seem as a coincidence, but is really the

connection between the characters is the fact that the warnings of the driver to

the signalman before he was cut down were the exact words which had haunted the

signalman and the narrators thoughts of what the actions of the spectre meant. ?Below there! look out!

look out! For God?s sake clear the way?. The Spectre also seemed to have warned the Signalman in a

way that something would happen to him. As before he was cut down by a train,

there were two large accidents?

previously where the Spectre had been at the scene giving a warning sign

of danger. It seems very strange as if the Spectre is not bad, but just wants

to warn the Signalman of danger.In Napoleon

and the Spectre the twist is that the Emperor does not realise that he is sleep

walking In a daze, and believes everything that is happening is real. We do not

find this out either though until near the end of the story when the Empress

speaks to Napoleon and the world for him starts to become normal again. ?No curtain intervened between him and the light. It had

been removed as if by magic?Throngs of ladies, richly dressed, but without

death?s-head masks.? Despite this, points are

given throughout the story, that if you think back are there to make it seem

like more of a dream then a reality. The fact that elegant and rich females

were wearing ? Ghastly masks, representing death?s-heads? would not occur in

real life. Also that there was a curtain drawn across the hall which generally

would not have been there but gives a flowing mysterious feeling to the room. ?Concealed by a curtain drawn across, through the half

transparent folds of which a bright light might be seen burning with dazzling

lustre? Regardless of the whole

dreamy feeling towards the story we know that he really believes what is going

on when he says to the Empress. ?What!, are you in this infernal place too?? However not to long

after saying this he slowly came back to his normal state and wakes up

properly. There also seems to be a connection between the Spectre and Napoleon,

in that he seems to be compelled to follow it.Both

stories, ?The Signalman? and ?Napoleon and the Spectre? are ghost stories and

although they have their similarities, they also have their differences. In

?Napoleon and the Spectre? the ghost is in his dream which in away takes away a

certain amount of fear due to the fact it is not real. But in the Signalman the

ghost is real which enhances the fear in the signalman as it is a reality and

gives you the thought of, it could happen in real life.Both

Authors took very different approaches to writing their stories. In ?Napoleon

and the Spectre? there is such a detailed description of the ghost that you can

actually visualise it. ?Tall, thin man dressed in a blue surtout?It wore a black

cravat very tightly round its neck?tongue protruded from between the teeth, and

the eyes all glazed and bloodshot started with frightful prominence from their

sockets?. With this description

you are able to in your mind create and image. It seems to come across as the

more traditional ghost, and has all the features you would expect a creepy

Spectre to have. It is similar to how they portray them in movies? In ?The Signalman? the only information they

give you about the ghost is the position he stands in. ?The left arm is across

the face, and the right arm is waved?. As they give you such little description of the ghost it

adds another tinge of mystery to the story, as your mind is left to wonder,

along with your imagination.?The ghost in Napoleon and the Spectre acts as a guide which is a

rather traditional part for a ghost to play in these kind of stories. However

the ghost in the Signalman has come to warm him about something, which is an

unusual concept of a ghost. This makes the ghost strange and unpredictable,

which again contributes to the build up of the story.In Each story

only a small amount of characters were involved. The Characters in a story

sometimes add to the fear, in ?The Signalman? I found this to be very true. One

of the main characters was the Narrator, a very normal educated and well

mannered man. He seems to be very inquisitive so when he asks the signalman

what bothers him and the signalman tells him about the ghost, at first he puts

it down to the ?deception of sight? even though he is clearly unnerved

by being told this ?A disagreeable shudder

crept over me, but I did my best against it.? He also tried to put it down to coincidence or the

signalman?s imagination. Despite this?

after hearing the end of the signalman?s recollections of his visits

from the Spectre the narrator actually starts to refer to the Spectre as if it

really exists and stops making excuses. ?did you see it??Did it ring your bell??Did it wave its

arm?? This would make it seem that the Narrator really starts

to believe that the Spectre exists, and if the Narrator starts to believe it

gives a feeling of insecurity as the narrator is supposed to be the normal,

educated man, if he believes its as if it must exist. This in a way proves to

the reader that the Spectre must really be real and not in his head or a dream.

Also the fact that he is a grown man and gets scared by the things that the

signalman tells him makes you think that this must be serious. ?it struck chill to me as if

I had left the natural world?A disagreeable shudder crept over me?My mouth was

dry.? With the description of the Narrator?s actions and the

way he says things after talking to the Signalman brings more uncertainty and

greater fear to a certain extent. Also what he thinks in his head rather then

saying shows he has opinions but is very unsure of what to make of everything.????????? However the Signalman himself as a character is rather

unusual as from what we know about him he also seems a clever man He is also

very precise in his job, so when he was cut down for standing to near to the

outer rail, its slightly coincidental and shows he must not have been thinking

of his work. ?He had taught himself a language?He had also worked at

fractions and decimals, and tried a little algebra? This says that he

teaches himself and he seems very level-headed and completely sane. This

worries because he is all those things he would not make up or dream of a

Spectre, which in a way encourages us to believe in what we read even more.????????? The Characters in Napoleon and the Spectre are not so much

scary as they are odd. The Ghost is very traditional, which makes it slightly

predictable. Napoleon however does bring fear to the story because he seems so

scared and shaken. The fact that every noise he hears in his room he presumes

must be someone or something. He grabs his pistol at the first noise he hears

and his sword the second. ? Sweating with terror.? Napoleon is also a well

educated man so until we find out that he is actually dreaming the fear rating

is far higher and more chilling because of this.????????? The settings in both stories were probably one of the most

important factors of building fear if not the best. The setting in a story

builds up the suspense of what is going to happen or what could happen and

tells you the situation people are going to be in. If the setting is at night

in a dark ally you know there could be trouble ahead, or if its set on sunny

day in a playground you know you are on slightly safer ground there.In

the signalman the setting was essential to get the true feeling the writer

wanted to illustrate in you mind, it gave you the chance to imagine what the

character was doing and in what type of place. ?The cutting was extremely deep and unusually

precipitous, It was made through a clammy stone that became oozier and wetter

as I went down?? With this you can focus

it and get a mental picture of the path as clear as if you had been there. ?On either side, a dripping wet wall of jagged stone,

excluding all view but a strip of sky?The gloomier entrance to a black

tunnel?so little sunlight ever found its way to this spot, that it had an

earthy, deadly smell and so much cold?? With that short yet

descriptive paragraph a whole picture comes to life and you come to terms with

the surroundings. These settings build up fear in the story as they add

suspense. Every now and then more description will be added until you have the

full picture in you mind at the end, with your imagination adding final

touches. The settings described seemed rather mysterious and murky. The

description words used give a whole feeling to the situation, misty, murky,

dismal, gloomy and dreary all bring a new aspect to the surroundings.The

settings in Napoleon and The spectre were also vital for the writer to build up

fear and mystery. Charlotte Bronte describes every place which Napoleon enters

which very deeply which allows to see what he sees. ??A dim light which shone round the ghost and revealed

the damp walls of a long, vaulted passage?Ere long a cool, refreshing breeze,

which rushed wailing up the vault.? When setting the scene

and adding description you are keeping the reader in suspense of what is about

to happen so it builds up fear. ??Silence?, said the guide, lolling out still further his

black and bloody tongue. ?Silence, if thou wouldst escape instant death.?? Charlotte Bronte sets

the scene however by adding in small, but significant descriptions ?The Emperor felt his pillow becoming rather hard? He was

disturbed by a sensation of thirst?? The Fact that the

Emperor is uneasy and unable to sleep due to hearing noises builds up a lot of

fear. She takes her time setting the scene which adds to the suspense and

mystery.????????? The endings of the stories are completely different. The

ending in Napoleon and The Spectre was quite traditional, where it all turned

out to be a dream. In a way this gives a rather weak ending compared to The

Signalman, as this ends with a twist and keeps your mind thinking and wondering

even after you have finished reading the book. Ending with it all being a dream

is like taking the easy way out.In

conclusion I would say overall both stories were brilliant, However, I did

prefer The Signalman by Charles Dickens to, Napoleon and the Spectre by

Charlotte Bronte. I found the suspense and twists in the Signalman to be more

enticing compared to a dream. Charlotte Bronte was only seventeen when she

wrote this story so it would be fair to say that she was not as experienced as

Charles Dickens at that time, which could be the reason why her story was less

successful. Despite this when it came to building suspense and mystery both

fulfilled this, which made the stories come to life, and I enjoyed reading both

stories immensely.