Comparing The Signalman by Dickens and The Withered Arm by Hardy

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Comparing The Signalman by Dickens and The Withered Arm by Hardy 'The Signalman' and 'The Withered Arm', are two short stories showing supernatural events. Authors, Dickens, and Hardy intrigue readers by using certain techniques. These techniques add suspense and mystery to the story, which makes the reader, want to read further on. The openings in both narratives begin with a short dialogue. The dialogue in 'The Signalman' begins with the narrator talking to the Signalman: "Halloa! Below there!" This throws the readers into action and engages them into the story. It introduces them to the characters. The setting of the place is one of an eerie atmosphere. It hints that something unnatural and…show more content…
During the introduction to the story, there is also a brief description of the setting. This creates a sense of direction, as we know the atmosphere of the narrative. Hardy creates ambiguity by leaving unresolved questions in chapter one. Some of these questions are, who is farmer Lodge's wife, and why Rhoda Brooks is thin and fading when she is not very old. We as readers, want to find out the situation to why she is isolated from other employees and why there is no contact between Farmer Lodge and Rhoda and her son. The author of 'The Withered Arm' creates unresolved questions at the beginning of the plot because he wants to leave readers guessing future plots. Unresolved questions in the story make the reader more involved as they too can speculate what events will occur. The author uses this technique effectively as suspense is added to the story. We are shown dramatic and unpredictable events. This causes tension and adds to the excitement that occurs when it is read. The openings of the two short stories are very similar to each other. Both authors write the introductions expressively to catch the reader's eye. The techniques used make it more intriguing for us to read. The similar techniques applied to the beginning of the story are adding dialogue, introduction to the main characters and a short but concise description of the

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