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How can we account for the agitated and confused state of the signalman

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The Signalman Q) How can we account for the agitated and confused state of the signalman? A) The signalman is a short story written by Charles Dickens in the year 1865 and was published in 1866. This story chronicles the metal illness of the signalman due to his agitated state of mind. The Signalman was written during the Victorian era which is known as the "age of science" and the "age of machines." This meant that people wanted different, something unique as people were more curious than before. Dicken's gave them all that and more. He treated his readers as a mature, intelligent audience and touched topics that no one thought of before therefore giving the public a different way to think and consequently satisfying the public's hunger for curiousity. Also, since machines were being created, this gave the people more time for leisure and therefore more time to read. The instant the reader starts to read this story, it is obvious that the setting of the story is very gloomy and the surroundings very dull and morbid. ...read more.


It is revealed to the audience that the signalman is a very conscientious worker as he was "several times interrupted by the little bell and had to read off messages and send off replies." He would do this instantly even if the narrator and he were in the middle of a conversation. Sometimes when the bell would not ring, he would still open the door of the hut and would look "out towards the read light near the mouth of the tunnel. Once again this shows the agitation of the signalman and also, his confused stare of mind. As promised, the narrator met up with the signalman the next day as well. This is when the signalman reveals that he really is agitated and disturbed. He tells the narrator that he is seeing a "specter." He says that every time he sees this "specter" , a few moments after that something horrible happens , someone dies. This shows the readers that the signalman is very confused because he himself does not know what this "ghost" is because it is now that he reveals to the narrator that he thought that the narrator was the "specter" , when he came to meet him the first time. ...read more.


He is told that the signalman was hit by a train and that the man who was driving the train was telling the signalman, "Below there! Look out! For God's sake , clear the way!" This was the exact same thing the signalman had said to the narrator earlier. This is when the reader realizes that the visions the signalman was seeing was of his own future. His confusion had lead to his death. The language used in this story is very different from the modern day's one. This type of language and description adds to the dull surroundings of the signalman and places more emphasis on the signalman's agitation and confusion. In my opinion, this story is a work of art as it is very well written. It is a thrilling tale as there is a lot of suspense in it which makes the reader want to read more and finish it. This story was released during the Victorian age. This was the time when science was prevailing and was very influential and heavily used. People at this time wanted to be treated as a mature audience and wanted something different, like this. That is why I am sure this story was very well received. ...read more.

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