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

How does Charles Dickens create tension and suspense for the reader in 'The Signalman'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Charles Dickens create tension and suspense For the reader in 'The Signalman'? In this essay I shall be discussing and analysing how Charles Dickens creates tension and suspense for the reader in the short story of 'The Signalman'. I shall be looking at devices such as the use of language and imagery, the setting and atmosphere and the narrative style and structure used throughout the story. The setting and atmosphere of the story is a major device used to create suspense and tension. The setting in every ghost story sets up the audience or reader up by creating tension through the weather, and the setting from which the story shall unravel. The eeriness and atmosphere of 'the cutting' sets a stereotypical scene for a mysterious or scary story "the cutting was very deep, it became oozier and wetter as you went deeper" The 'Cutting' is also described as something supernatural or out of this world "it struck chill to me, as if I had already left the natural world". ...read more.

Middle

The use of repetition of 'gloomier' also adds tension to the reader towards the tunnel and its mystery. Dickens also uses emotive language to describe the tunnel as an unpleasant place to go. "barbarous, depressing and forbidding air" This creates such tension that it almost foreshadows that something dramatic will happen in the tunnel. One of the main devices used to create suspense and tension for the reader is the fact Dickens leaves the reader masked form the point or purpose of the story, due to the plot not being in chronological order and flashes back in time to gradually reveal what is going on. The narrator has to return to the signal box, to get an explanation for why the signalman was spooked when the narrator called out "Halloa! Below there!" This plot leaves the reader interested and in suspense. ...read more.

Conclusion

First the narrator is jolly and enthusiastic, "Next evening was a lovely evening, and I walked out early to enjoy it" Then the mood is dramatically changed as the story takes a twist, "the nameless horror that oppressed me." The narrator is now upset and evokes sympathy from the reader this adds tension as the mood of the story is now being dictated by the readers' interpretations of the plot. The relationship between the narrator and the signalman is very odd and irregular as the signalman speaks in a very low and subtle tone of voice and then puts his arm on his, and leans forward, this relationship creates more tension in the story for the reader. Charles Dickens uses many devices in which he creates suspense and tension in 'The Signalman'. These devices include the use of language and imagery, characterisation, narrative structure and style, character relationships and the setting and atmosphere. All of these devices are used effectively and successfully. Ross Gunnet 10.1 9th December 2002 English Coursework 1 ...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. How does Dickens create an unnerving atmosphere of suspense and tension in "The Signalman"?

    As he walks down, he realises and sees "an appearance of a man with his sleeve across his eyes; passionately waving his arms." We learn that the fact that he is so shocked and mortified, is because he is convinced for a short while that he is now seeing the spectre.

  2. How does Charles Dickens create suspense and tension in the signalman?

    The narrator also gives his view of his first instincts as he saw the station: "Struck chill to me... as if I had left the natural world" This suggests that it was a very scary place to be especially at that time of night.

  1. How does Dickens create suspense in

    Dickens describes the signalman as "dark" this suggests to the reader that he is supernatural and immoral, as usually evil things are said to be dark. He has "dark" and "sallow". He has a "dark beard" and "heavy eyebrows". The use of the word sallow implies that the signalman is yellow.

  2. Examine the ways in which Charles Dickens builds suspense in 'The Signalman'

    He has told the signalman that he must try to forget it and get on with his duty. The next time he returns, the signalman had been killed and even though the visitor has not discovered that yet, he still suspects something.

  1. "In his short story 'The Signalman' by what means does the author Charles Dickens ...

    Again the signalman and the narrator only ever meet at night, "I will come at eleven" this keeps the tension due to the darkness. Charles Dickens knows well what he is doing because the tension would be lost if they were to meet on a sunny midday.

  2. In this essay I am going to examine the techniques used by Charles Dickesn ...

    The line 'a dripping wet wall of jagged stone, excluding all view but a strip of sky.' is used to make the signalman appear as if he has been imprisoned in his job. It describes the setting in a degrading way.

  1. Prose English

    he is stood above the deep trench where the signalman is, whereas the signalman is down on the railway surrounded by a shadow of the high stone walls, as if he's trapped by the darkness. There's a part of the story which says ''can't rise into the sunset''.

  2. How Charles Dickens Creates Tension In His Short Story 'The Signalman'.

    in the air, quickly changing into a violent pulsation, and an oncoming rush that caused me to start back, as though it had force to draw me down' Dickens describes it as if it was very scary, like a monster.

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