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Compare the openings of "The Signalman" and "The Foghorn"

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By Kate Mighall JMC GCSE Coursework Compare the openings of "The Signalman" and "The Foghorn" "The Foghorn" was written by Ray Bradbury in the 20thC and is a short story whereas Charles Dickens wrote "The Signalman" in the 19thC. Although they were set in different times and written by different authors there are many similarities between the two stories. They both have a story within a story, first person narrator, the main characters are both men and McDunn and "The Signalman" have huge responsibilities in such a way that if they don't do their job properly it may cost someone their life. Both man are also extremely proud of their jobs and want to do it to the best of their ability. In both stories something is destroyed and the two men are also being haunted with a secret and they both decide to share it with someone they trust. ...read more.


This fits a supernatural story, as it is unwelcoming and isolated, suggesting anything could happen and know one would know about it. "The Signalman" spends "many long lonely hours" down by the railway track. Not only is he a lonely man but very responsible and takes great pride and care in his job. Dickens matches him well to the unfriendly environment that surrounds him, as "The Signalman" is very uneasy, and in a way seems afraid of something but unsure what it might be. He works in an oppressive environment that is "gloomier" and more "depressing" than can be imagined, in a way like a "dungeon". Dickens uses a very descriptive and creative language with a wide range of vocabulary using words such as "oozier and wetter" this creates a great setting for the reader giving him/her a sense of supernatural presence. ...read more.


McDunn is a secretive and lonely man. Not only this but he is a good storyteller "one day many years ago". When he talks about the monster it seems as though he can relate to the creature and what it may be feeling "waiting for someone who never comes home". McDunn is set far from land and humans and the only thing he can understand is the monster, as he can share its pain. I particularly enjoyed "The Signalman" as I found it unpredictable. It gave me a huge sense of mystery and not only this but I sympathised greatly with "The Signalman" as to me he seemed so isolated from the rest of the world. A job he once loved with great passion now made him question himself and his ability to do his job properly. The job he took so much pride in ended up killing him By Kate Mighall JMC ...read more.

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