Charles Dickens Signalman Essay

Charles Dickens Signalman Essay-5
He describes the setting as “extremely deep and usually precipitous”, “a great dungeon”, “and a great place for supernatural happenings with a barbarous and forbidding air”, these words say that the setting is dark and mysterious and not a nice place to be. The signalman is shut up in it all day and all night and he never ventures out to see the sunlight of day. We do not know why the signalman asks the narrator not to recall the words “Halloa, below there”?We do not know why the narrator cannot call down to the signalman from the top of the bank.This can seem strange in some parts but it is used to show that the characters do not want to share their fear, but in most cases we get to find out what is scaring them.

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He uses descriptive language and verbs in the paragraph where he talks about the train that passes the signal box e. He also uses language like this when he describes the settings of the story e.

g – a great dungeon, a barbarous and forbidding air.

One example of this is when the train is coming through the tunnel.

“Vague vibration in the earth and air and quickly changing into a violent pulsation.

When we get to part in the story when a character is asked a question that he doesn’t like or sees something that scares them, they go very quiet and quickly change the subject.

Dickens’ doesn’t make then sound scared or make them look scared just make them feel it inside so it doesn’t seem strange to the other character.” The reader doesn’t know what is happening at this point, the phrase “vague vibration” suggests that the object is coming from a long way away. Dickens uses different and more complex language to describe the setting. There is the warning light, entrance to the tunnel and the signal box.Dickens’ uses very descriptive language to describe the valley, which makes the image we get of the railway valley, a creepy and dark one.There is a spectre haunting him at the entrance of the tunnel under the warning light.He says the spectre wave’s one arm frantically and uses the other to shield its face.One time after the spectre had appeared the memorable accident happened on the line.A train collided with another inside the tunnel and literally hours after the crash, the bodies of the dead and injured were being brought over the same spot on which the spectre stood, this leaves us asking the question, “did the spectre cause the crash, or was it warning the signalman that the crash was going to happen?He does this to put the readers into the story, to make the reader more involved and it makes us want to know what happens next.In my opinion To add to the suspense, Dickens’ sets the story in the 19th century; during this time people were more likely to believe in supernatural happenings, they weren’t so sceptical.Another question that is not answered is – was the signalman’s death fate or suicide?We are left to think about this question at the end because it doesn’t say anything about it in the story.


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