“The Signalman”, “The man with the twisted lip” and “The Red Room”

“The Signalman” creates suspense because the warning of the unknown figure, which the signalman is appearing to have seen, precedes danger. Therefore every time he enters the story you are in suspense as to what accident is going to occur.

“The man with the twisted lip” creates suspense by giving you clues that show that Isa Whitney has been in the room and has now disappeared. In the room above the opium den there was his coat, toys and also the owner of the opium den said that he had never been there which is how Arthur Conan Doyle has added the suspense.

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“The Red Room” creates suspense by having an unknown entity surrounding the room which is how it is a mystery story as you discover what the unknown entity is and represents as you read the story. The story contains a gradual building of tension which is created by the in depth description of the surroundings as you approach “The Red Room.”

In “the Signalman” Charles Dickens chose to set the story in the mid 19th century as this was the dawn of the railway. He chose to set the story then as the railway was fairly new and so there would have still been unnecessary accidents, which could have been prevented. The Signalman’s hut was near a tunnel, which at the time was where most of the accidents on the railway were occurring.

In “The Man With The Twisted Lip” Arthur Conan Doyle chose to set the story in the 19th century, as this was the time when many working class men were taking drugs to escape their everyday lives. This is relevant because the story is drug related. The story is mainly set in the opium den because this was a very frightening place to respectable Victorians.

In “the Red Room” H.G Wells chose to set the story in a castle because of the characteristics that they have. There is a lot of eeriness surrounding a castle and most ‘old’ castles are said to be haunted.

“The Signalman” is a typical mystery story as there is some evidence to say that the man has been there but he disappeared. We know this because the signalman has told us so. By believing that the signalman really has seen the figure we are assuming that he is sane. The story could lead you to believe that the signalman is psychic, that would mean that these are merely visions that he is having, this would mean that he could stop the accidents from occurring in the first place. This would mean that he would therefore save the peoples lives who was otherwise be killed in these so called ‘unnecessary’ accidents. The tunnel represented a tomb, as it was a dark and gloomy place, it was hellish.

“The Man With The Twisted Lip” is a typical mystery story as there is some evidence to say that Isa Whitney has been there but now he has disappeared. Seeing the man in the room above the opium den was a clue. At first you did not know who he was or what he represented. The opium den represented a tomb, as it was dark, gloomy and full of half-dead bodies, it was hellish, this is because it was full of smoke and there was a flashing red light. “It is the vilest murder-trap on the whole riverside,” This is talking about the opium den and how the people that enter it loose their lives in vile conditions.

Another way of interpreting it would be that by entering the den you are basically guaranteed to become addicted to opium and then by smoking it you are basically committing suicide. “Out of the black shadows there glimmered little red circles of light, now bright, now faint, as the burning poison waxed or waned in the bowls of the metal pipes,” This is relating the opium den to hell and what people believe hell to look like. “A crippled wretch of hideous aspect,” This is showing how well Isa Whitney can disguise himself and at what speed as he had just been seen as he is normally by his wife.

“The Red Room” is an old place containing old things, “I caught a glimpse of myself, abbreviated and broadened to an impossible sturdiness in the queer old mirror.” The mirror has distorted him so that he looks like three strange characters. Red is often associated with blood, anger and pain, “this haunted room of yours”…is “the red room.” “The castle and the deep-toned, old-fashioned furniture,” the story is set in a castle to add eeriness to the story.

“The ornaments and the conveniences of the room were ghostly, the thoughts of vanished men” and not “the world of today,” it seems like an ancient world, very unnatural. The furniture is ghostly looking. The bed is old so someone may have died in it. “The long, draughty subterranean passage was chilly and dusty,” long to make the room seem as though it is more isolated. Subterranean meaning underground so not of this world. Chilly and dusty makes it more uncomfortable.

All three stories have somewhere that is dark and gloomy such as the opium den. They also have shadows such as the ones in the Red Room. All three stories use the senses, The Signalman uses sound, The Red Room uses sight and The Man With The Twisted Lip uses smell such as in the opium den, All three stories have a relationship with hell, the red room, the opium den and the tunnel as I have explained in the preceding paragraphs. All of the stories have man-made hellholes. I think that the story of The Red Room was the most effective as it was the most descriptive and it uses all of your senses more than the other two stories do. Also most people that will read the book would have been to a castle and would have probably heard a few stories about haunted castles.

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