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The Haunted House

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Korin Booth

on 4 November 2014

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Transcript of The Haunted House

Charles Dickens
Context
Characterisation

Part 1- The Mortals in the house.
Narrator- John.
Gentleman on the train- ‘Goggle eyed’ ‘Express lunatic’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
Ikey- ‘Round face’ ‘Broad, humorous mouth.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
Maiden sister- ‘handsome, sensible and engaging.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)

‘The help’
-Deaf stable man ‘Bottles.’- ‘Imperturbable and speechless man.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
-Two woman servants
Cook- ‘amiable woman, but of weak intellect.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
Housemaid- ‘Feigned cheerfulness.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
-Odd girl- ‘Cheerful and exemplary.’ ‘State of real terror.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)

The Guests
-John Herschel – ‘Knew his own business best.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
-His wife- ‘Charming Creature.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
-Alfred Starling
-Belinda Bates- ‘Bosom friend of sister.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
-Jack Governor- ‘Frank smile, brilliant dark eye.’ (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
-Nat Beaver
-Mr Undery

The Ghosts
-Master B - 'The ghost of my own childhood....of my own innocence.' (Charles Dickens, The Haunted House.)
Structure and language
Deemed a
portmanteau
story as it is split into two sections
The first is an
introduction
to the house and can be perceived as the tip of the iceberg.
Part two- The Ghost in Master B's room, is a lot more below the surface where the horror is intensified especially when the narrator becomes aware of the haunted house as opposed to assuming it is one of the village boys, Ikey, causing mischief.

Does not seem phased by anything paranormal
"
The Haunted House
is an ingenious tale of the supernatural with touches of pure Dickensian comedy" (Stace, 2009).
Dickens satirises anything out of the ordinary:
"It appeared that Master B., in his spiritual condition, always made a point of pulling the paper down". (Dickens, C. 1999)

Superior to the other characters by exposing the folly that is peppered throughout the narrative.

: "ill-placed, ill-built, ill-planned and ill-fitted" and "no wind, no rain, no lightning, no thunder" (Dickens, C. 1999
) accentuating the monotone tone and conveying a sense of tedium from the narrator
Mundane and dull as opposed to spooky and disturbing.

Finds folly in the ghostly happenings and comes to the conclusion that
"we were at our ghostliest whenever [Ikey] came up in the evening to comfort the servants"
(Dickens, C. 1999)
Portrays an irony as he clearly feels in control of the house and conveys how it was all artifice

"...haunted by the letter B" (Dickens, C. 1999)
. which exposes how language is the most powerful weapon not the mysterious hauntings.



Setting part 1

THE MORTALS IN THE HOUSE

The narrative begins with the narrator on a train towards London from the North, where he departs in an unnamed village, to view the Haunted House.

It is a
‘cold dead morning’
when the narrator is on the train towards the Haunted House, and he describes the
‘tranquillity of [early morning]’
as being the
‘tranquillity of death’
and that the ‘
colour and the chill [of early mornings] have the same association [with death]’.
This portrays his anticipation of deathly feelings when he arrives at the House, however when he exits the train the setting transforms into a
‘beautiful sunny morning’,
which melts away any feelings of dread.


Jasmine Carpenter, Ashleigh Cousin,Beth Dickinson, Chloe Wood and Korin Booth
The Haunted House
Setting part 1 cont.
- Published in 1859 in 'All The Year Round'

- 'All The Year Round' was launched and published by Charles Dickens between 1850 and 1870

- The Haunted House was published in a Christmas number

-The story features a group of guests staying in a supposedely haunted house

- Dickens was supposedely scepitic of the existence of ghosts

It is important to note the significance of the seasonal setting.

Dickens sets the story in late autumn to winter
(“golden, brown and russet trees”)
which is relevant as autumn is the season associated with death and decay, which emphasises the death and decay associated with the hauntings of the house.

The weather in this season also tends to be chillier and stormier than seasons earlier on in the year, especially at night, which adds to the supernatural horrors within the house and makes the readers experience more thrilling. The house itself is described as being
‘shunned by the village’
and
‘too heavily shadowed by trees’
which accentuates the eerie feeling we get when the house is described.
Thesis Statement
"Dickens uses a variety of devices to portray the folly in his characters in
The Haunted House,
including setting; characterisation and language"
Bibliography
- Allingham. P V, (2013) All The Year Round, The Victorian Web, Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/20070206223130/http://www.victorianweb.org/periodicals/ayr.html [Accessed: 20th October 2014]
- Dickens, C and Stace, W. (2009) The Haunted House. One World Classics.
- Dickens, C and A.S. Byat. (1999) The Oxford Book of Short Stories: The Haunted House. Oxford University Press.
-Dickens, Charles, (1998), 'The Mortals in the House' in Byatt, A.S, The Oxford Book of English Short Stories.United States: Oxford University Press. 18-43
- Drew. J (2013) All the Year Round,
Dickens Quarterly
, 2, pp. 10-11
- Drew. J (2013) Micheal Wolff Lecture: An Uncommercial Proposition?: At Work on Household Words and All The Year Round,
Victorian Periodicals Review
, 46, p. 2

Dickens portrays folly in the majority of the characters in ‘The Haunted House’ through the language he uses in the descriptions given by the narrator.
Characterisation is the way that the writer portrays the characters in a book- a description that depicts looks and personality traits.
The Ghost in Master B's room
• Dickens creates setting within 'The ghost in Master B's Room using several devices for example -
• Dickens creates setting through the use of location eg. 'For six nights I had been worried thus in Master B's room' (Dickens, 1998, p.34)
• Dickens also creates setting with the use of time eg. '...was early in the morning, when it was but just daylight and no more.' (p.34)
• 'waking from an uneasy sleep at exactly two o'clock in the morning... to find that I was sharing my bed with the skeleton of Master B!' (p.35)
• Dickens also is able to create a sense through the use of scent eg. 'peculiar smell of...stable, dog with the mange, and very old bellows.' (p.36)
Setting Part Two
Conclusion
Through a variety of literary devices, such as setting, characterisation and language, Dickens brings humour and wit to the forefront of his short-story in order to underpin the folly and, to some extent, artifice of the supernatural occurences within
The Haunted House
.
Full transcript