Compare The Ways That Dickens Builds Tension In The Signalman And The Black Veil

1920 words - 8 pages

Dickens main aim in these two stories is to create and maintain tension in order to entertain his reader. The techniques are very detailed when setting the scene, look at are the use of mood words when setting the scene, his depiction of mysterious characters, his choice of narrative style and his structure of both the stories.The Signalman is a gothic short story where a railway signalman is haunted to a point where he is certain that a calamity will happen. Little does he know that this calamity is his death.The Black Veil is a mystery story about a young doctor who gets a mysterious case from an equally mysterious woman. When he attends the house of the woman he finds that she has gone mad and is asking him to bring back to life he recently hung son.The Signalman is a very vivid story in which Dickens uses the senses in describing the setting very effectively. The fact that it is set in a railway cutting at the time would have immediately meant danger and had a sinister effect in the Victorian times as many people did not accept the new technology and thought that steam trains were man unnecessarily tampering with nature which could only lead to trouble.The way that the cutting is described as being 'made through a clammy stone that became oozier and wetter as I went down' is a very clear tactile and thermal image which involves the reader, and so suspense is built. Added to this there is the fact that the signalman's hut is located right next to 'the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel.' This immediately creates fear and suspense in the reader due again to the powerful description. The railway cutting is also described as a 'great dungeon' and this makes the reader feel that the signalman is trapped both physically and metaphorically in the nightmare that is later revealed in the story. Mood words like 'barbarous', 'depressing' and 'forbidding' are also used to enhance the vivid description. The most striking example of Dickens' use of language to create a creepy atmosphere is the image of an 'angry sunset' which lets the reader know immediately that something is amiss due to the fact that the idea is oxymoronic to us as we usually associate sunsets with romance and happiness. The final factor that makes the setting tense is that it is set in the real world and a world that the reader can relate to and so is credible.There are two settings in The Black Veil both of which are important in creating tension. The first is the initial setting inside the doctor's house where Dickens describes a dark and stormy outside which immediately instills a sense of fear because weather like this often spells tragedy and danger. There is an immediate contrast to the interior of the house with the doctor in a warm cosy and dry environment described as having 'a cheerful fire'. This is very similar to opening section of The Monkey's Paw, which has a similar contrast between the cold and wet outside with the warmth inside. Thermal images are used in both the...

Find Another Essay On Compare the ways that Dickens builds tension in The Signalman and The Black Veil

Compare 'The Signalman,' by Charles Dickens, and 'Lamb to the Slaughter,' by Roald Dahl and discuss how both authors generate a sense of suspense in the stories.

802 words - 3 pages 'The Signalman.' The story is written in third person narrative although it has a lot of direct speech. This gives a sense of observing the two main characters, Mary and Patrick Maloney. Throughout the story there is no description of Mary Maloney. I believe this is so that the reader can create his or her own image of Mary. Dahl starts to build up the suspense when you read how Patrick does "An unusual thing." This adds a lot of tension. Although

Compare the ways in which Pip views Joe as a child as he grows up in "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens.

1070 words - 4 pages In this essay I will be explaining and comparing the ways in which Pip, as a child, views Joe as he grows up, in "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens."Great Expectations" was written in 1861 by Charles Dickens. However, it was set early in the 19th century. Throughout "Great Expectations" Dickens explores early Victorian England, and how much money meant to people, how much it changed people and turned them into snobs at that time.Some of

The Ways that the Director Builds Suspense and Scares the Audience in the Film JAWS

2704 words - 11 pages The Ways that the Director Builds Suspense and Scares the Audience in the Film JAWS The film JAWS was directed by Steven Spielberg and is about the struggle of men trying to defeat a great threat in the shape of a shark. It is set in small town of Amity in 1974.This is a classic horror film structure imitating for example, Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' (1963). From normality comes fear. The main part of the film is set

Atmosphere in Charles Dickens' The Signalman

1213 words - 5 pages Atmosphere in Charles Dickens' The Signalman 'The Signal-man' is a ghostly thriller by Charles Dickens. Based on an apparently hallucinating signal-man and the tales of his hallucinations, the story is seen through the eyes of the narrator, a man told of the signal-mans troubles during conversations with the signal-man himself. From the beginning of the story, the atmosphere is both eerie and gloomy. To produce

The Whiteness of the Veil: Color and the veil in Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Veil and The Blithedale Romance

2045 words - 9 pages ). Hooper’s first appearance in front of the congregation has the quality of a public performance, not unlike that of the Veiled Lady in The Blithedale Romance. There is a “rumor of some unaccountable phenomenon” that precedes him and everyone is curious, eager to get a glimpse of the minister and his “mysterious emblem” (Hawthorne, “Black Veil” 190). As time passes and he continues to wear the veil, people travel long distances just to see the veiled

The Signalman by Charles Dickens

3415 words - 14 pages place within the cutting. I think this is so that none of the tension is lost, because of this reason the tension is well sustained throughout. Again the signalman and the narrator only ever meet at night, "I will come at eleven" this keeps the tension due to the darkness. Charles Dickens knows well what he is doing because the tension would be lost if they were to meet on a sunny midday. In addition, the darkness impairs the signalman's

Analysis of the Ways the Director Builds Suspense and Scares the Audience in Jaws

3944 words - 16 pages mystery because you haven’t yet seen the shark but you can feel its presence. The music clouds your vision and makes you imagine and believe something that actually isn’t even there. It builds tension and the music gives a dramatic and eerie effect. Other example of how music of silence is used to scare the audience or build tension will be discussed next. The first scene, Chrissie strips to go swimming in the sea, the

The Minister’s Black Veil

610 words - 2 pages The Minister’s Black Veil The story “The Minister’s Black Veil” is symbolic of the hidden sins that we hide and separate ourselves from the ones we love most. In wearing the veil Hooper presents the isolation that everybody experiences when they are chained down by their own sins. He has realized that everybody symbolically can be found in the shadow of their own veil. By Hooper wearing this shroud across his face is only showing the

The Minister's Black Veil

1122 words - 4 pages Parson wears the crepe, questioning his purity and straying away from his person. When the Parson's intended, Elizabeth, asks him to do away with his foolishness and remove the veil, he sadly refuses, and Elizabeth reluctantly leaves him. The story concludes as the Parson dies, isolated by his choice to wear the veil with only the dying and the dead taking comfort in his presence, proclaiming that on each face he sees a black veil. In "The

The Ministers Black Veil

805 words - 4 pages can detect them," Hooper says preaching a sermon on secret sin and the things people hide in their heart. Once church is over the townspeople instantly begin gossiping about the reverend. Some of the people say that he has gone mad, but many others believe he is trying to cover up his own secret sin. Hooper continued being himself; the black veil did not change his personality. He would greet the children and townspeople, but they would always

The Theme in The Minister’s Black Veil

2693 words - 11 pages The Theme in “The Minister’s Black Veil”                  Morse Peckham in “The Development of Hawthorne’s Romanticism” explains what he interprets Hawthorne’s main theme to be in his short stories:   This technique, though Hawthorne’s is different from that of European writers, creates analogies between self and not-self, between personality and the worlds. . . .Henceforth Hawthorne’s theme is the redemption of the self through

Similar Essays

Suspense And Tension In Charles Dickens' The Signalman

1585 words - 6 pages Suspense and Tension in Charles Dickens' The Signalman In the Charles Dickens' story the narrator meets the signalman who is confessing to him his problems. The narrator comes every night to find out that the signalman was seeing a ghost of a man, who was pointing out that certain train accidents are going to happen. After a few days the narrator goes peacefully to the signalman's shed, and finds out that he

The Ways Dickens Creates Mystery And Suspense In The Signalman

2846 words - 11 pages Describe the ways Dickens creates mystery and suspense in The Signalman 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens, also known as 'No1 Branchline', is part of the collection of short railway stories that are included in 'Mugby Junctions', published in 1866. These stories appear to have been written post the tragic Staplehurst, Kent train crash, in which Dickens was involved, but escaped unhurt. Following the accident, Dickens suffered from what

Compare The Techniques Used To Create Tension And Fear In The Two Stories "The Signalman" By Charles Dickens And "The Landlady" By Roald Dahl

1248 words - 5 pages from his sub-conscious allowing things to play on his mind, so perhaps he will become paranoid. All of this adds to the effects of fear and tension, as it builds up throughout the stories.The authors give us a description of at least one of the central characters' backgrounds. In 'The Landlady' we are told about Billy, who was a seventeen year-old boy that was on his way to be a successful businessman from London. In 'The Signalman' we are told of

Tension And Atmosphere In The Red Room By H.G.Wells, The Signalman By Charles Dickens And A Withered Arm By Thomas Hardy

2531 words - 10 pages Tension and Atmosphere in "The Red Room" by H.G.Wells, "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "A Withered Arm" by Thomas Hardy To investigate tension and atmosphere, I have looked at three pre1900 pieces- 'The Red Room' H.G.Wells, 'The Signalman,' Charles Dickens, & 'A Withered Arm' Thomas Hardy. They use a variety of different techniques, each with their own individual style but achieving the same overall effect. They focus on setting