Signalman Essays

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She then goes on telling them innocently and without regret or remorse about how she left him there wounded for two nights until he died. The shocking truth is brought out and the boy is horrified and the girl realises as they are leaving in disgust that he is not the person she thought he was and she has been shallow minded and petty.

The girl sees through his exterior to the person that lies underneath. She left the man in the plane because she saw him as a German a murdering German responsible for her husbands death wearing a German uniform, she didn’t see him as the young man in pain that he was.

Both stories share a similar list of ingredients, both use tension to achieve horror and shock realisation, both have a spooky setting, and both have interesting characters. Both stories however are written in different ages in time and so directed at different types of audiences.

‘The Signalman’ is directed at a Victorian audience that existed when the author Dickens wrote his short story, this audience was not as demanding as the modern audience because they did not have access to all forms of media and had not experienced many story alike to ‘The Signalman.

The Signalman tells the man of a crashed train, and a woman thrown off a train both occurring in or just outside the tunnel that his hut is outside of.

Before each of these events happened he sees a spectre who waves to him and says ‘Halloe! he also hears a ghostly warning bell from inside his hut and sees a imaginary red light outside the tunnel that means danger.‘The Darkness out There’ uses an isolated setting like ‘The Signalman’, but it is a much more natural common setting and is almost friendly however this is the point; the darkness is out there.Throughout ‘The Signalman’ we are given many clues and pieces of information, like the ringing bell that only the Signalman can hear and the spectre that appears before accidents involving trains.‘The Signalman’ and ‘The Darkness out there’ both build up tension using distinctly different methods.‘The Darkness out There’ is subtler in its approach to building up the tension; it hides the shocking truth beneath a cloak of near normality.The story ends up with the Signalman’s death by being hit by a train that is down to his haunting the train driver leans out of the carriage trying to get the Signalman off the track saying ‘Halloe! ‘ the spectre is giving him a future forecast of his death to come on the track.This appealed to the Victorian audience because it included trains, tension, and mystery.This is why the Signalman has a much more traditional approach to its horror story than ‘The Darkness out There’.‘The Darkness out There’ was aimed at the modern audience that is more experienced of horror and is not so easily amused, as the Victorian would be.However in this modern world, this new era, some people have learnt to look past appearances and look underneath the skin to reveal the truth about people. They can relate to the story and feel as though the story has some meaning.‘The Signalman’ is a lot more blunt in its approach to building up tension than ‘The Darkness out There’.


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