• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Charles Dickens use the ghost story genre to provoke fear in both the Victorian and modern reader of The Signalman?

Extracts from this document...


Narin 9-5 Mr. David Marrinson October 4th 2011 Essay Question How does Charles Dickens use the ghost story genre to provoke fear in both the Victorian and modern reader of ?The Signalman?? The Signalman, a famous story written by Charles Dickens during the 1900s, and was most likely of his personal experiences. Dickens was known for the success of the story because during the Victorian era, people weren?t so fond of modernization and were very religious. Since religion was big, people in the Victorian era were probably more scared than the people of the modern era. The talented writer played with the reader?s mind and introduced a new style of writing. His style of writing could cause fear to both Victorian and modern readers because Dickens gives the story a twist and plays with the reader?s minds and emotions. Nevertheless, Dickens had used many techniques to provoke fear in the reader?s mind, such as the good usage of the ?ghost? genre, setting, and exposition. Not only did Dickens add specific details to make the story twist and turn, but he also added a main focus. During the Victorian era, locomotives were a new transition and invention. Locomotives were newly introduced, and of course, Dickens had his main focus on locomotives. ...read more.


By rising suspicion, Dickens makes it easier for himself to grab the reader?s attention. Even though he started the story with some mysteriousness, it took him quite a while to introduce the conflict. The Signalman was also known as a typical Victorian ghost story because the story shows some historical thinking and characteristics of a Victorian ghost story genre. The events in the story was described from the night time because the author had included specific details such as how the signalman carries a ?white light? and how it keeps describing the setting as dark. Spirits were also introduced in the story, as the story unfolded. The weather was cold, windy, and forbidding. For example, ?there was a barbarous, depressing, and forbidding air.?(Narrator) This made the setting scarier and the mood even darker and more depressing. Another plus factor of Dickens? writing was how he overtook the story?s setting. Charles had included different ghost story conventions and made the story more terrifying. Dickens added specific details to the story so it would be more frightening. ?On either side, a dripping-wet wall of jagged stone, excluding all view but a strip of sky; the perspective one way only a crooked prolongation of this great dungeon; the shorter perspective in the other direction ...read more.


Regardless of how, the way that Dickens chose to create the buildup of the story was fantastic and marvelous. Not any author would choose to write such a wondrous setting and exposition. Charles Dickens wrote the setting so that it was very dark and scary, touching the reader?s senses and playing around with the reader?s thoughts. However, we may identify this story as both typical and untypical for many reasons. It was very typical of him, when Dickens introduced the characters and setting of the story. Most scary stories were typically dark and scary. Moreover, the untypical part of the story was when the plot was introduced. Dickens had touched the readers so that they would want to continue reading and finish the story. A Victorian reader would find this story scary, as they had beliefs in the afterlife, but a modern reader wouldn?t really find the story scary, because it would be very typical for modern world writing. To reciprocate, I would say that this book was really creative for a writer in the Victorian era, but very typical for a writer in the modern world. I found this book interesting, as the author had included great details and soft touches to make the short story slightly more interesting. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Charles Dickens section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Charles Dickens essays

  1. "How does Dickens' create mystery and suspense in his writing?"

    Another example is in 'Oliver Twist,' - "face so distorted and pale and eyes so red and bloodshot." He also uses many adjectives here. There are many times in which you can see the characteristic language of the time in Oliver Twist, where Fagin is referred to as, - "The Jew."

  2. Compare Oliver Twist and The Catcher in the Rye exploring how the authors portray ...

    would be made as tense as possible to get the reader to read next time. In comparison, Catcher is written in the 1st person.

  1. Both stories studied concentrate on how people appear to others. Discuss the way ...

    Considering that this story was written in 1970's we realise that going off with a married man is something that rarely anyone would do in a society. As they will not be accepted.. However, Mrs Turner is ignorant of what others think of her.

  2. Discuss how Dickens creates sadness in Book the Second

    He says that Stephan is so "waspish" and "ill-conditioned", that "even his own union will have nothing to do with him", and therefore Bounderby "will have nothing to do with him either". Getting fired from his job is the last anguish Stephan suffers in Book the Second and it sends

  1. How does Dickens use language in chapter 50 of Oliver Twist to show the ...

    energy and the suddenness of his surprise, brought him heavily to the ground'. These words give you a sense of tension and happiness as Charley attacks the murderer, but also leaves you with anxiety as to whether Charley has a chance.

  2. Dickens' approach of contrasting circumstances in both France and England acts as the appropriate ...

    England and France in 1775 embody the concept of duality that is outlined in the first paragraph of chapter one. Both countries are simultaneously experiencing very similar and very different situations. In England it was the dawn of the industrial revolution, and for the growing middle class it was the best of times.

  1. Compare Charles Dickens' description of Miss Havesham's dressing room with Charles Bronte's description of ...

    'She had not quite finished dressing', as if she had started but then suddenly frozen half way through, forgetting about it and everything else in her world. 'Half packed trunks, were scattered', this also suggests the 'stopping of time'. It says in the passage about how everything used to white,

  2. Explore Joe Gargery's role in Great Expectations

    This is another negative quality, helping to balance out the character of Joe. Joe also finds it difficult to deal with Pip when he is a ?gentleman?. When Pip is ill, and needing Joe?s help, Joe is happy to call him Pip and treat him like he did when he was younger.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work