Charles Dickens Signalman Essay

Another example is when the signalman asks the narrator not to call out the words “Halloa, below there”, this makes us think that the signalman doesn’t like these words and something has happened in the past that has included these words.The signalman finally tells the narrator what is making him nervous.There is a spectre haunting him at the entrance of the tunnel under the warning light.

This leaves us wondering why he does this and what will happen next, is someone coming up the tunnel maybe?

When they are having the conversation in the signal box, the signalman looks towards the bell, but it doesn’t ring and we wonder what he hears or sees and then when he gets up to look outside, we wonder what Is going on.

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.

” 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.Dickens uses different and unusual events in the story to create fear and tension.When the narrator shouts “Halloa, below there”, we expect the signalman to look up and respond, but instead he looks towards the warning light at the mouth of the tunnel.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.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.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.Charles Dickens wrote the Signalman during the 19th century.The story is about a signalman that is haunted by a spectre.


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