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Suspense - The Signal Man

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Introduction

Suspense - The Signal Man The author of The Signal Man immediately creates suspense by using anonymous quotes, which gives a sense of mystery. Dickens begins by avoiding using terms that identify ownership, i.e. "When he heard a voice thus calling to him". The 2nd person in the story is the signal man, who at this point is acting in a very peculiar manner. This produces suspicion amongst the reader and thus generates interest or suspense. Throughout the entire novel, Charles Dickens is using language that is very obviously uncomfortable, i.e. "Angry sunset", or "Violent pulsation". The characters are not described as very ordinary. The signal man is poor and not very knowledgeable whereas the visitor is wealthy, intelligent and free to do as he pleases. ...read more.

Middle

When the protagonist begins to approach the signal man, the signal man acts as if he was expecting this visit. This generates anticipation within the reader. Dickens uses repetition to great effect, causing alertness and confusion amongst the reader, and also draws attention to particular quotes, "Halloa, below there", "Don't call out". The signal man anticipates supernatural activity by use of foreshadowing, telling the visitor that he believes they have met in the past. At the same time, the signal man is being rather vague, which creates suspense and encourages the reader to learn more about the story. Because the narrator is so vague, it causes the reader to use his or her imagination. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the story progresses, the narrator begins to build towards the climax. He uses the same theme of death throughout however, even if it is more fast-paced. The woman dies, and she is buried in the signal man's post. The end is a release of tension. The signal man is dead, but he looks calm, so it is like he has been released from the chasm that was his dungeon. The story is over. However, the rational visitor finally experiences the spectres quote, said by another man. This leaves an uneasy feeling with the visitor, and leaves the ending to the story very open. The signal man is free from his imprisonment, but he failed to realise what the apparition was trying to tell him before it was too late. Was there a resolution? ?? ?? ?? ?? Jezen Thomas F4H - 1 - ...read more.

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