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How Does Charles Dickens Create Suspense And Fear In The Signalman?

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How Does Charles Dickens Create Suspense And Fear In The Signalman? Charles Dickens wrote the Signalman during the 19th century. The story is about a signalman that is haunted by a spectre. A stranger (the narrator) befriends the signalman and he learns of the signalman's past. Charles Dickens creates suspense and fear in The Signalman in a variety of ways. In this essay I will discuss how he does this. Dickens begins to create suspense right at the start of the story by writing it in the first person narrative. He does this to put the readers into the story, to make the reader more involved and it makes us want to know what happens next. In my opinion To add to the suspense, Dickens' sets the story in the 19th century; during this time people were more likely to believe in supernatural happenings, they weren't so sceptical. Thus the readers are more receptive to the idea of a ghost story than perhaps we are today. Dickens' sets this story mainly at night; this provides more atmospheric tension and we could perceive more strange things happening in the story. ...read more.


A train collided with another inside the tunnel and literally hours after the crash, the bodies of the dead and injured were being brought over the same spot on which the spectre stood, this leaves us asking the question, "did the spectre cause the crash, or was it warning the signalman that the crash was going to happen?" The next time the spectre appeared there was another accident. As the train came out of the tunnel a newly wed woman died in one of the carriages. We need to ask ourselves "did the spectre cause the crash or was he merely warning us?" Dickens' uses different adjectives and verbs to make different parts of the story more effective and atmospheric. One example of this is when the train is coming through the tunnel. "Vague vibration in the earth and air and quickly changing into a violent pulsation." The reader doesn't know what is happening at this point, the phrase "vague vibration" suggests that the object is coming from a long way away. The setting is a very important part of the story. Dickens uses different and more complex language to describe the setting. ...read more.


They are doing exactly what the spectre was said to do before the memorable accidents happened. They say that the signalman didn't hear the train coming or the whistle blowing so maybe the signalman didn't want to live because of the spectre haunting him or maybe he thought it was fate that he was going to die. In this essay I have stated many different ways in which Charles Dickens' has created suspense and fear in The Signalman. These ways are - When the story was written and how people used to believe in supernatural happenings, how most of the story is set at night, to give the story a spooky atmosphere, the way Dickens' uses descriptive adjectives and verbs to describe happenings and the setting in the story, the setting and how it is the perfect place for spooky goings on, how the story is full of unanswered questions that keep us thinking throughout the story, how the actions of the characters and how they express fear and emotions in the story and how the end of the story adds a whole new twist to the story. He uses all these different things to create a very spooky and complex ghost story that keeps the reader entertained throughout. ...read more.

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