Lamb To The Slaughter Suspense Analysis

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How do the writers create suspense in ‘The Signalman’ and ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’? Gothic literature consists of dark and mysterious scenery with an overall atmosphere of horror, suspense and melodramatic narrative devices. Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl create suspense in ‘The Signalman’ and ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ by effective use of settings, languages and the theme of insanity. The author, Charles Dickens creates suspense in ‘The Signalman’ by portraying the setting as somber and eerie as possible. When the narrator goes nearer to the tunnel, he says, “… 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 adjectives, “gloomy” and “black” give the readers a deep impression of the story that there is something unusual about this place. This helps the readers to understand that the atmosphere is dark, mysterious and somehow depressing, indicating the darkness where there is barely a light to be seen in a particular area. By setting the atmosphere as such, it tingles the readers’ curiosity of what might happen next in such dark place with two men. In addition …show more content…

At the beginning of the story, the narrator states, “he directed a most curious look towards the red light near the tunnel’s mouth” and later on, the Signalman says, “… and saw this someone else standing by the red light near the tunnel”. The repetition of the significant image, “red light” gives the readers unpleasant and dangerous feelings. This may represent the next part of the story, foreshadowing the signalman’s death. Usually, red lights are used to alarm or inform someone for danger. The obsession of the red light that the signalman has hints the readers that something dangerous and alarming like the ‘red light’ may appear or happen in the story soon, building up suspense in the readers’

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