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'The Signalman' is as explicit in its irony, as it is effective in its purpose, of creating an awe of mystery around the story.

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English Homework 13/09/02 To summarise the story we must first understand that in hindsight the very name of the story, 'The Signalman' is as explicit in its irony, as it is effective in its purpose, of creating an awe of mystery around the story. It cruelly but entertainingly, creates the false perception, a fa�ade, of the story's name being based around the central character of the Signalman, when in fact it is in relation to the ghostly apparition, which gives 'Signals' to the haunted signalman in his secluded box. Dickens indeed uses many of the essential techniques commonly used in short story writing, Starting with only using the bare minimum of important characters. To set the scene we are thrown straight into the action (the first sign of a short story) And we see that an unnamed character tries to catch the attention of the lonely Signalman (the absence of names is also a sign of a short story, as names can detract from the importance of the singular story and give away too much information). Through the use of the signalman's silence we are thrown into wondering who this figure is (building suspense through withholding information) but slowly he lets his guard down and welcomes the un-named character, Mr A, for all purposes to come down. ...read more.


Dickens also uses the literary devices such as repetition, similes and intense description to create the imagery that we are in a very frightening and lonely place, whenever we are with the Signalman. In fact the Signalman is just an ordinary man that gets caught up in a catastrophic chain of events, which lead to his own death, Which, for the reader completely changes the personality of the 'spooky' Signalman into a character of sympathy. The life of Dickens 1812 7th Feb- born to john and Lizzy dickens 1824- John Dickens sent to Marshalsea Debtors Prison (an experience he comes to use in David Copperfield) 1827- Employed as a solicitor's clerk (Used later in great expectations) 1829-1831- works for Mirror of Parliament and True Sun 1833- First stories published in Monthly Magazine. 1836- Pickwick papers 1836- Marries Catherine Hogarth 1838- Nicholas Nickelby 1829- The Old Curiosity shop 1843- Martin Chuzzlewit 1843 Dec- A Christmas Carol 1844- Living in Italy 1847- Living in Paris 1848 Oct- Dombey and son 1848 Dec- The Haunted Man 1849 May- David Copperfield 1852- Bleak House 1857- Meets Ellen Ternan (His Mistress) 1858 May- Separates from his Wife 1859- A Tale Of Two Cities 1861 Aug- Great Expectations 1865 Nov- Our Mutual Friend 1870- The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Unfinished) ...read more.


I think that this was due to the fact that he had had so much anguish and pain in his life he just wanted to make other peoples lives a bit nicer, maybe a very basic conclusion but in my opinion, true. His feelings for women seemed very mixed, on one hand he cheated on his wife countless times and in the end left her with his children, but on the other he set up homes for homeless women and a centre for whores. During the lifetime of the genius the1800's developed around him so fast he sped along so fast he ended up leaving people behind. He was pushed into writing by three factors, His social conscious, which made him believe that it was his moral obligation to spread the news of how badly the working class of his society were treated and the unfairness of life, secondly to entertain, because his words were so prolific, that he knew that he could touch more lives in this way than in any other, last but perhaps most important, he used his writing to escape. His very unhappy childhood was followed by an unhappy marriage and a messy break up, his works were a way of pouring his emotions, his very soul into these endless volumes, giving him a way of expressing his pain and anxieties to the nation. ...read more.

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