We learn that the Signal man has seen very disturbing events such as the train crash and the bride dying and what is more troubling is that he seen it coming, throughout the story we see how the signal man opens up to the narrator on how he is troubled and is emphasizing how he saw a ghost but the narrator starts to doubt his new friends mind and starts to have a very patronizing attitude towards the signal man. Throughout the story the fear is spreading. Dickens also uses tactile imagery “Frozen finger tracing out my spine” and also Dickens uses olfactory imagery “an earthly deadly smell”. The relationship between the narrator and the signal man is one of trust as the signal man opens up to him on their second meeting “do the signal man and the narrator linked in some way? Dickens has made the story raise some doubts about the afterlife and fate.
However Bram Stoker famed for his book “Dracula” has created a short story that is much like ‘The Signal Man” but has a different approach to the horror genre for the first few pages are a little bit of a mysterious “Dracula’s Guest” is full of suspense the title alone raises the expectation for the reader as it does not give away the plot but creates a feeling of intrigue making the reader want to read on, this is a clever ploy Stoker has used and it was also a popular theme to use as in the middle ages and Victorian era the legends of vampires have been popular among the people of Britain and Ireland and perhaps the world. The short story contains many dark themes that create mystery and also adds to the mounting tension that is created by the title “Dracula’s Guest” Bram who is Known for his Dark stories that contain major supernaturalist elements such as Mythism and oppressive that are including as the novel “The Lair of the White Worm”, Bram creates the prefect atmosphere for the short story and for the century as the Victorian era had a thing for vampirism stories. The story begins in Munich the weather is idyllic “The sun was shining brightly on Munich, and the air was full of the joyousness of the early summer” is the weather too idyllic?
Bram cleverly opens the story this way to lull the reader into a sense of false security a very smart move I think personally, but that all ends when “still holding his hand on the handle of the carriage door” is used which is very arousing and causes a lot of interest, He also uses personification ” a shiver in the north wind” adds more dramatic effect so does the use of alliteration “Sudden Storm” but the line “But I am sure you will not be late, here he smiled and added for you know what night is it” mysterious what is the night in question? And why is it so important?
The 1st paragraph creates a sense of importance for the night and adds to the mystery and we then learn the reason the maitre and coachman fears the night and also we learn the name “Walpurgis Nacht” which translated from German means “Night of Evil” this term is very important to Catholics this is the first relation to religion, later on we here “Walpurgis nacht! “, Stoker uses the language barrier and the fail to understand adds to the suspense and surreal aspect, later the weather changes to “dark clouds drifted rapidly across the sky” the atmosphere changes to a sinister dull mood.
Again the language barrier is there and the personification has the desired effect “the storm of snow he comes before long time” also the dialogue become vague and broken creating more tension here vampirism applied ‘mouths red with blood”, we see that the protagonist seems to doubt his sanity a lot like Dickens character “The Signal Man” it seems he also is succumbing to his fear “Paroxysm of the fear- white face perspiring, trembling” Bram Stoker’s technique second to none he uses detailed descriptions for his characters and settings and his use of the language devices such as metaphors “glistening white carpet” and his alliteration “Sudden Storm” and lastly repetition “Walpurgis nacht”.
Each writer Dickens and Stoker uses different methods to create a spine-chilling effect on the reader each could even be masters of horror and suspense, all the aspects that the gothic genre needs to be successful and “The Signal Man” and “Dracula’s Guest” where very successful in that age and successful today in the study of literature .
In conclusion after close analysis of both stories I have seen that both stories are great for maintaining tension and use techniques such as alliteration, pathetic fallacy and are good to create confusion among the readers. This wining combination gives the story a kick and keeps the reader engrossed in the story. I believe that stoker is perfect for building suspense and tension while Dickens plays on the reader’s emotion by lulling them into a sense of security and then confuses them and then plays on their confusion. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gavin Teggart Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.