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How does Dickens create interest, tension and suspence for the reader of The Signalman, by Charles Dickens.

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Introduction

HOW DOES DICKENS CREATE INTEREST, TENSION AND SUSPENCE FOR THE READER OF "THE SIGNALMAN"? BY CHARELS DICKENS The story of "The signalman" was a very popular story when it was written, because at the time it was written it was very modern because the steam train was a very new invention and the Victorians also enjoyed ghost stories. Dickens has created tension in the story very well because right at the start the narrator shouts "Halloa! Below there" this may not seem to be anything right at the start but later we find out that these are the exact words that the ghost has used to get the signalman's attention. Interest and tension are created by Dickens describing the tunnel as if it was something from hell by using words like "dungeon, gloomy red light, gloomier entrance, barbarous, depressing and forbidden air, deadly smell and struck chill to ...read more.

Middle

the narrator shouted at the start was the same as what the ghost shouts which is a big shock and you can see this from the signalman's reaction as he does not look at the narrator but he looks around to the red light in the tunnel as if he has heard the ghost again. When the first accident happens Dickens builds up the tension by using dark depressing words again like "wet stains stealing, frozen finger and a disagreeable shudder crept over me" These are very appropriate as the accident is about to happen, you also get the feeling that something is going to happen because of those words. Something that also builds tension is that every time the ghost appears something happens which means that the readers are always on the edge of they're seat and also causes a lot of suspense, the two things that happen ...read more.

Conclusion

The interesting part of the story is at the end when the signalman dies. What is unusual about his death is that when the train killed him he did not seem to take any notice of the train or the driver who was trying to warn him because he wanted to die to stop someone else from dieing because every time he sees the ghost something bad happens so he takes his own life to save someone else and also to free himself, another reason could be that his eyes are fixated on the spectre and he is in a trance so he cant move out of the way. This is strange because the driver is making the same motions and same shouts as the ghost made. This therefore makes us think that when he sees the ghost earlier in story he is having a premonition of his own death. ...read more.

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