The Setting in Hound of the Baskervilles and The Signalman
'The Hound of the Baskervilles' was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
in 1902 carrying the genre of a horror story, whilst 'The Signalman'
was written by Charles Dickens in 1860, carrying the genre of a ghost
Both writers use the same type of setting throughout the novels which
is dismal, shadowy and perspirating.
At the time when both novels were written, the readers who read both
of the novels believed that ghosts and huge hounds which prowled
moonless, glum heaths actually existed. This had a greater effect on
the reader in the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century than
it does today because not many people living in the modern world
believe in phantoms and huge beasts which roam around dingy places and
In the first chapter of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' setting does
not seem to be terribly important to Conan Doyle because he focuses
more on describing the plot of the novel to the reader. In chapter one
Conan Doyle is describing to the reader, the plot which starts with
the gruesome death of Sir Charles Baskerville along with a little
background knowledge about Sherlock Holmes. That sets out the scene
for the reader whereas in 'The Signalman', Dickens does not describe
the plot to the reader at the start of the novel which tends to
confuse the reader a little because the reader can't predict what is
going to happen next in the text.
In both novels the writer creates the main setting where all of the
events take place to have the same effect on the reader. In 'The Hound
of the Baskervilles' the main setting is on Dartmoor (Grimpen Mire)
which always seems to be dismal, shadowy and perspirating with huge
boggy pits which will almost certainly asphyxiate anyone who mistakes
the boggy pits for firm ground. Grimpen Mire is a place where "A false
step yonder means death to man or beast" compared to 'The Signalman'
which is set in the same place the whole way through the text. This
leads the reader to think that the writer has created a character
which is lonely and therefore might be going mad as a consequence.
'The Signalman' is a partially gothic tale which deals with strange,
ghostly appearances whilst the main body of the story is being
narrated by the traveller who is involved by Dickens only tell the
reader the story by questioning the signalman the whole way through
which is the only purpose for the traveller being there.
The three main settings in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' are Baker
Street which is Sherlock Holmes' place of residence, Dartmoor and
Baskerville Hall whereas in 'The Signalman' the main setting is the
signal box and the entrance to the tunnel. The writers don't seem to
vary the settings in both novels which convey to the reader that the