Examples Of Suspense In The Signalman

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Gothic literature, both traditional and contemporary can create suspense. It originated in England in the second half of the half 18th Century and had success in the 19th Century. In traditional gothic literature the story is more traditional as it is written in 19th Century such as Charles Dickens ‘The Signalman’. It was written in 1866. Dickens conveys the story to the readers by using an unfamiliar, isolation and supernatural themes. On the other hand, contemporary gothic literature is different as it is written in 20th Century manner which makes it more modern and more contemporary. Roald Dahl’s ‘Lamb to the slaughter’ conveys to the readers by use such a simple theme like realism, familiar and the language used is informal. These two gothic…show more content…
This can be seen in “his post was in a solitary and dismal a place”. The using of the words such as ‘solitary’ and ‘dismal’ construct the imagery of being abandoned and a lonesome place. Suspense is being built when the readers are reading through these words thinking of a ghastly place and something dreadful could happen here. Furthermore, this is being shown in “terminating in a gloomy red light, and the gloomier entrance to a black tunnel, in whose massive architecture there was a barbarous, depressing and forbidding air”. The adoption of word of dim such as ‘gloomy’, ‘barbarous’, ‘depressing’ and ‘forbidding air’ fortify the image as being in a somber and eerie place as a dungeon. It’s a quite scary maybe dark and cold place. In using these dreary words, Dickens portrays an unfamiliar setting to readers and building up readers inquisitive to prophesy or assume that something will happen badly in this place. This creates a theme of suspense to the readers that are excited, anxious or uncertain about what may happen by reading through those helpless words that describe in an unfamiliar…show more content…
Nevertheless, Dahl uses the theme of familiarity instead of unfamiliarity which contradiction Dickens. He uses simple and familiar words to make readers feel comfortable as if they are at home. This is clearly shown in the opening of the story when it depicts that “The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn”. Wording of “warm” and “clean” suggests feeling of homely and it seems like a perfect house that makes readers feel like this house as a comfort zone and they can place themselves there. The situation of the house changes when Patrick comes home and responds to his wife in a negative form. The reader’s feeling a swift change from cozy to uneasy. In this situation, the suspense has been built. An addition of evidence shown in “…as she bent over her sewing was curiously tranquil…” The using of “sewing” and “tranquil” reinforces the idea how simple the routine of sewing by Mary Maloney and the pleasant atmosphere within the house. It makes the theme look too familiar. Again, the atmosphere of the house changes when Patrick was thinking of leaving his wife when he says “I’ve got something to tell you” strengthen the feeling of anxiety and uncertainty dragging into this usual
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