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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Signalman 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 GCSE The Signalman essays

  1. “The Signalman,” by Charles Dickens

    the line," This adds to the sense of mystery as well as developing a curious friendship over the fact of the narrator's intentions. "I am not happy in opening any conversation." This shows that the signalman is a very private, and possibly vulnerable.

  2. Explain what makes a good mystery story, based on your understanding of 'The Red ...

    The Speckled Band uses altogether very complex language and structure. The author has used rather long paragraphs and sentences. This along with the demanding vocabulary used throughout proves it to be a more challenging read. This dialogue makes me feel that the story is aimed at more of an older audience.

  1. GCSE English coursework: Short Gothic Tales

    He describes things like what kind of place it is outside like "Pathway's a bog, and the road's a torrent." The family expecting a visitor makes us feel like what type of visitor it could be. It also makes it a tense feeling because it could turn out that the visitor that turn up are not what they are expecting.

  2. Compare how suspense is built up in 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens (1812-1879), and ...

    natural world' which indicates the place was like a totally different place what so ever. As far as we know he could have entered into another dimension. It sets the atmosphere too as 'black tunnel', and 'so little sunlight ever found its way' gives the reader the sight of darkness and sin around the railway track.

  1. Compare the literary styles of Dickens and Hardy useing 'The Signalman' and 'The Withered ...

    In 'The Signalman�, the signalman inhabits a small, "solitary and dismal" signal box. He stays in the "dripping-wet dungeon" for hours each day with nothing to do except to occasionally "change that signal, trim those lights, and turn his iron handle".

  2. Signalman By Charles Dickens

    The tension is kept in the story because this person the signalman keeps seeing the signal light going off so he has to check down the line. There is a bit of tension in the story too because as the signalman is going bats he could do something stupid.

  1. For our chosen text we read "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens.

    This small event is described with powerful adjectives. The sentence is as follows: 'Just then there came a vague vibration in the earth and air, quickly changing into a violent pulsation...' The characterisation in this story is very unusual as we aren't given names for the two main characters in the story.

  2. In this essay, the openings of the four short stories, "The Signalman" by Charles ...

    I feel that if the writer had not set this context, then most readers would not have understood the word. In saying the room was 'black as pitch', Poe uses a simile and helps to establish a good picture in the reader's mind of the atmosphere in the room.

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