‘The Red Room’ :- The author of this story, H.G Wells didn’t give an indications to when this story was written but after reading the story I noticed that he introduced gothic traditions, grotesque characters, haunted rooms, ghosts, superstition ; previous deaths and curses, and involves supernatural aspects. The story shows us this because it is set in a castle. By using gothic aspects and colours, H.G Wells is symbolising many things, for example; the colour red is associated by many people as being a danger colour or symbolising blood or danger etc.
.. By using these techniques in his writing, H.
G Wells may be trying to scare or terrify the reader.* ‘The Signalman’: – this was an 1860’s story written by Charles Dickens and was popular to a wide range of the nation. I believe that ‘The Signalman’ was so popular and widely read because Charles introduced such a modern piece of technology into his story and so generally people were interested in what he had to say. Not only was this a very modern story, but, it was written with the readers culture in mind; for example working class people and the signalman being a quite an old man working on his own. To combine the ancient supernatural with a modern railway setting was unexpected and startling. I believe that Charles Dickens was influenced by the railway because he himself was involved in a railway accident in 1865, he was traveling to London when it derailed at high speed, killing ten people and injuring many more. He then wrote ‘The Signalman’ a year later.* ‘The Man With The Twisted Lip’: – This is one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s many Sherlock Home’s tales.
These stories were (and Still are today) immensely popular to the public. I think that these stories were so popular & enjoyed by the 1890’s audience because everything was set around the streets of London which made it feel real for the readers. This story was especially liked because at the time it was contemporary to Jack The Ripper.The East Coast of London was highly polluted, full of smoke belching factories around which the workers lived in slum housing. The unknown was introduced into ‘The Man With The Twisted Lip’, by the disappearing of Nevil Sinclair. He went missing for many days ; his wife got fairly worried and so called Dr. Watson.The ‘Red Room’ is set in a gothic style castle, which is described, as dark and gloomy.
The ornaments set in the room and also the conveniences relate to the previous deaths that had taken place within the castle.The passage within the castle is described as a long, draughty subterranean passage. This helps the reader build an image of the setting and from this the reader may start to feel a little scared because often people relate darkness to be a scary place.
This may also create a mysterious atmosphere, the setting seems to be spooky and creepy because a lot of the narrators feelings are expressed by the use of his words related with the subject. I.e. quivers, rustling.The author uses the sense of sight to build a picture in the readers mind which adds to the effect of the story, by doing this the reader will become more interested in the story and will come intrigued because of the techniques that H.G Wells may have used.
Colour is also used throughout the story as people as a whole seem to relate certain colours to different things, for example. ‘this haunted room of yours’…..is ‘the red room’, the supernatural associations with the colour red because it symbolises evil, danger and blood.
Because of this readers may be left wondering what is ahead in the story and if anything dangerous may happen.Shadows, ‘cower and quiver’ ; ‘Listening to a rustling that I fancied I heard’ but there is ‘absolute silence’ these quotes are a good use of personification.Wells borrowed from the literary tradition of gothic literature when he wrote ‘The Red Room’, purposely being elusive about its precise time or location.The ‘Signalman’ is set in at he bottom of vertical hill. We know this because of the quote ‘ but instead of looking up to where I stood on the top of the steep cutting nearly over his head, he turned himself about and looked down the line.’ There is also a lot of tension within the story because there is a dark tunnel and the symbolism shows that it is scary and making it a dark it adds effect to the story.
Also when they are in the signal box the wind and the unusual happenings with the bells create tension ; atmosphere.References to steam trains and even the mention of a permanent manually operated signalbox gives a sense of historical context to a reader of today. When the man calls down from the hilltop to the signalman. His words were, ‘Hallo, Below There’, for some reason the signalman was shocked by those words. Because of this, it may leave the reader being confused maybe due to its mystical and unknown relevance. I feel that there was quite a lot of symbolism in this story; a train went past and for an unknown reason a woman in a white dress fell out or was pushed out.
I think this is fairly symbolic because white is pure and black is a dark and mean colour, which many people relate to death. The Woman got pushed out just before the dark tunnel.The White dressed woman may have something to do with the train crash Charles Dickens was in when his train derailed and ten people died.
His audience at the time would not of known much about the railway because it was a new invention and not many people had experienced it. To me that is why this story was so popular.’The Man With The Twisted Lip’ is one of many Sherlock homes stories that were extremely popular with the 1890’s audience. Just like the other stories above, ‘The Man With The Twisted Lip’ has a lot of mystery and strange happenings in it.This story is set in the East End of London which was highly polluted, full of smoke belching factories around which the workers lived in slum housing. With disease on the high and medicines being expensive many doctors prescribed opium-based laudanum to the moneyed classes who could afford it. This is shown in the story when Dr.
Wotson enters the opium den. In stead of being filled up of working class people it is infact crammed full of the upper class.Going down into the opium den it is extremely dark which symbolises death and gloominess.
The sentace ‘Homes’s shrill whistle, ‘the clink of horses’ hoofs’, ‘silence’ broken by occasional policeman’s ‘footfall’ or ‘songs and shouts of some belated party of revellers’. In this quote, Doyle uses lots of details which relates to all the five senses: smell, sight, touch, taste and sound.’A flickering oil lamp’ , this is not to bright and causes shadows which may scare the reader, the atmosphere will be on edge and very tense. Because the atmosphere is tense it seems that anything could make the reader jump.During this story, ‘The Man With The Twisted Lip’, Conan Doyle chose to reflect the periods contemporary events, social conditions and problems.
Overall I feel that I enjoyed ‘The Man With The Twisted Lip’ the most because this story kept me interested all the way throughout. There was so much going on, that it made me think about all the different scenarios and possibilities that may arise. All the way through this story there was a lot of tension.Is it a wonder that Sherlock Homes and Dr.
Wotson’s stories are so popular when they create so much interest and gentle confusion for the reader. I enjoyed reading all of these books and I found that they all had quite a few things in common. Suspiciousness and mystical powers was common in mostly all of the stories at some time, although the dates were years apart.