Tension and Atmosphere in The Red Room by H.G.Wells, The Signalman by Charles Dickens and A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

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Tension and Atmosphere in "The Red Room" by H.G.Wells, "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "A Withered Arm" by Thomas Hardy

To investigate tension and atmosphere, I have looked at three pre1900 pieces- 'The Red Room' H.G.Wells, 'The Signalman,' Charles Dickens, &
'A Withered Arm' Thomas Hardy. They use a variety of different techniques, each with their own individual style but achieving the same overall effect. They focus on setting, description of characters
& use of language.

The Red Room is a tale of a man on a quest to discover the truth about the legend of 'The Red Room' in Lorraine Castle, as the young man's fate unfolds the audience are led with him, they feel his fear, hear his thoughts and experience his terror.
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Therefore remembering other stories, I recognise this as a typical stereotype for a ghost story, the castle is easy to imagine, therefore the atmosphere surrounding the building becomes heightened.

Loraine castle was abandoned by its possessor and has a previous reputation for haunting's leading to deaths. Therefore it becomes wired almost electric (even though the castle has none!) Without electricity the only source of light is candles (which are easily snuffed and are not as reliable as electric lights). The tale is set at near-midnight, there is a full moon (again very stereotypical) and it is the anniversary of a death related to 'The Red Room'.

At the beginning of the story H.G. Wells uses long paced sentences, without urgency or panic as does the 'Withered Arm'. All three stories are highly descriptive, lots of shadows, dark corners, and dim light at the points of climax for example, 'The Red Room' contains 'sombre reds and blacks' The Signal Man' 'gloomier entrance to a black tunnel, and 'A Withered Arm', 'veiled mist in front of her eyes'.

In the Red Room the chambers are unwelcoming, large, desolate and lavish but have an unreal air distorted and past their prime, as though they have been less

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