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Comment on how the author, Charles Dickens, creates a sense of suspense and horror in the story: "The Signalman".

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Introduction

Comment on how the author, Charles Dickens, creates a sense of suspense and horror in the story: "The Signalman" I have been asked to write how the author creates a sense of suspense and horror in this story of "the Signalman." The author creates suspense and horror using language, atmosphere, descriptions, location, structure, and the characters. The structure of this story helps to create suspense since it is written in a form like a revelation which means it is broken down into small chunks of information, each portion of information is revealed piece by piece to make more tension such as: "In the discharge of his duties, I observed him to be remarkably exact and vigilant, breaking off his discourse at a syllable, and remaining silent until what he had to do was done. ...read more.

Middle

The author also uses the language to help the reader to visualise the picture via all the narrations of the scenes. The author uses the location to create an eerie atmospheric sense because it is a time of darkness so people are scared at night, on a downhill path the question WHY? Going through the interpreter's head. It is next to a railway track, a very dangerous place to be even in the daytime leading into a ominous tunnel ("a gloomier entrance to a black tunnel" page 131) a place leading to the mysterious wonders with a daunted signalman who sees things or at least that's what the narrator thinks. He also describes the scenes admirably using beneficial punctuation and distinct adjectives such as: "It was made through a clammy stone, that became oozier and wetter as I went down." ...read more.

Conclusion

The ghost was an apparition that the signalman only saw at the beginning but at the end the narrator sees him always doing the same movement; "I saw the appearance of a man, with his left sleeve across his eyes, passionately waving his right arm." (Page 145) I believe that the ghost was warning the signalman of deaths because he appeared every time before someone died. The policeman was very informative but not good at giving bad news because the way it is worded the policeman sounds like he has no feelings towards the signalman or even the way he talks to the narrator. The train driver's name was Tom but there was no character description or specific purpose for his presence other than running over the signalman. The only feature I could recognise was his sensitivity and sadness for the corpse lying there; "Ah! it was a dreadful time, sir. I never left off calling him." (Page 147) ...read more.

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