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Charles Dickens The Signalman. a) Based upon Massaud Moiss definition, we can affirm The Signalman, by Charles Dickens, belongs to the Gothic Fiction genre.

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Introduction

Charles Dickens - "The Signalman". a) Based upon Massaud Mois�s' definition, we can affirm "The Signalman", by Charles Dickens, belongs to the Gothic Fiction genre. For it has most of the elements that belongs to Gothic writing, such as mystery and horror in the plot, the presence of the supernatural, and the absence of light in a gloomy setting, which elements will be analyzed below in combination with their relating passages. For instance, just at the beginning of the story, when the narrator presents the signalman character, he is inside a tunnel, aparted from the outside world, isolated in a gloomy setting so that "his figure was foreshortened and shadowed". Besides, the setting becomes more and more gloomy as the narrative proceeds and the narrator carry on the description of the signalman and his box, "Was it necessary for him when on duty, always to remain in that channel of damp air, and could he never rise into the sunshine from between those high stone walls?" ...read more.

Middle

Even the early description of the train passing trough the tunnel is somewhat supernatural: "Just then, there came a vague vibration in the earth and air, quickly changing into a violent pulsation, and an on coming rush that caused me to start back, as though it had force to draw me down". It is a description that clearly leads us to the next goal of the gothic fiction: frightening the reader and keeping him in suspense. The suspense tone is also present thought all the story, resulting in cohesive and effective events. As the writer compose a first-person narrative, which lead the reader thought the perception of the narrator, making him doubt if the signalman is really mad or if there were actually happening supernatural events inside the tunnel. b) First of all, what is expect from a text in order to consider it as serious fiction? I believe serious fiction is any written text that helps us to perceive the world and ourselves in a different light, as though we were looking at the world with a child's eyes, for the first time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Serious fiction invites us to explore the multiplicity of interpretations, and in fact, requires it, whereas the minor fiction text usually does not. Does "The Signalman" fulfill these requirements? Of course it does. Above all, Dickens had managed to create a desired effect from his work. We could use Edgar Allan Poe's famous review-essay of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales in order to corroborate our judgments about Dickens, since the extract below could also have been written for him: "A skillful literary artist has constructed his tale. If wise, he has not fashioned his thoughts to accommodate his incidents; but having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out, he then invents such incidents-he then combines such events as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect." Moreover, Dickens creates its unity of effect, he involves the reader, alarm him, incite him and frighten him throughout its unity of effects, which was reached through foregrounding and all the elements already discussed in item a. ...read more.

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