This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Provoking Fear In Both The Victorian And Modern Reader Of The Signalman

2073 words - 8 pages

How Does Charles Dickens Use The Ghost Story Genre To Provoke Fear In
Both The Victorian And Modern Reader Of The Signalman?

“Charles Dickens” is the author of "The Signalman"; this story is a
pre 20th Century piece and is a horror story. People today may not
find the story very frightening but when it was written, the
Victorians would have taken to this horror much more understandably,
due to the fact that technology like the train was all new and it
changed the lifestyle of people. The train itself is quite a
frightening figure; it is large, shoots out steam and makes quite a
spine-chilling loud noise. Also, the train would have been the
fastest means of transport at that time and it seemed very
uncontrollable and dangerous to the Victorians. "The Signalman" is not
a typical ghost story because it is set in the day. The railway is not
exactly a typical ghost story setting either, which evokes the fear
that it could happen to anyone.

The first paragraph grabs the reader’s attention by using dialogue the
Narrator is shouting "Helloa! Below there!" The reader is dragged into
the middle of what seems an interesting story. The Narrator is calling
to a man standing at the door to his box, holding a flag in his hand
rolled up against its short pole. Even though the reader has started
in the middle of a story, the Narrator has not given much information
away at all; we can only guess that the man being called to is the
Signalman and we know nothing about the Narrator. When the signalman
hears the voice, he could not have doubted the direction the voice
came from, but instead of looking at the Narrator on top of the steep
cutting nearly over his head, he looked down the line. This creates an
atmosphere of suspense - the reader wants to know why the signalman
does this. The Narrator thinks there was something remarkable about
him doing so, he didn't know what but remarkable enough to grab the
readers attention. The Signalman was described by the Narrator as
“foreshortened” and “shadowed”, Shadowed is an interesting word to
have used at this point in the story, it can have two meanings. The
noun can mean “darkness” or “gloom” where the verb can mean “suspense”
or “keep watch on”. This figure was also described as being in a
'trench'.

The second paragraph also starts in dialogue, "Helloa! Below!" The
Narrator is repeating his question because he didn't receive a reply
to the last. The signalman turns himself about and sees the Narrator
high above him. The Narrator can then ask, "Is there a path by which I
can come down and speak to you?" I think the Narrator wants to speak
to him because of his 'remarkable behavior'. But the signalman doesn't
reply. I think it possible, at this point in the story, that the
reader will think the signalman is demented, stubborn or troubled at
the least. We can gather at this point that the Narrator is a polite
person as he tries not to be rude towards the idleness of this
...

Find Another Essay On Provoking Fear in both the Victorian and Modern Reader of The Signalman

The Setting in Hound of the Baskervilles and The Signalman

1507 words - 6 pages using setting to create atmosphere was terribly important to Dickens because the traveller is there to tell the main body of the plot to the reader. I believe that when both books were published in Victorian times, the Victorian readers who read 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' and 'The Signalman' were greatly impacted by the ghost and horror stories into actually believing that the ghost in 'The Signalman' and the huge beast in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' actually existed compared to today where most modern-day people don't believe in these things, which means that the impact of each story is much less on the reader.

Compare 'The Signalman,' by Charles Dickens, and 'Lamb to the Slaughter,' by Roald Dahl and discuss how both authors generate a sense of suspense in the stories

802 words - 3 pages 'The Signalman,' is a nineteenth century supernatural short story. 'Lamb to the Slaughter,' is a twentieth century crime short story. Both have a twist in the tale. In this essay I will look at how the authors create and maintain a sense of suspense throughout the texts.Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1919. He was educated at a boarding school for boys. His harsh treatment there led him in later life to write stories of cruelty and revenge

Compare the techniques used to create tension and fear in the two stories "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl

1248 words - 5 pages Landlady' by Roald Dahl are quite similar in the techniques used to create tension and fear. They both use the 'rule of three', and have characters that are disturbed. But the actual content and language of the two stories is very different. They are set in different periods of time, so the language in 'the Signalman' is bound to be something that we are not used to. 'The Landlady' is a more recent piece so we can relate to it, and not take it as seriously.

The Use of Language in The Red Room and The Signalman

2221 words - 9 pages supernatural content as well as the actual story. The Signalman and The Red Room are both Victorian stories. The Signalman first appeared in 1866 in a Christmas magazine. Since then the story has become very popular, this was because the Victorians enjoyed supernatural stories. They liked reading ghost stories and stories in which there were mysteries to be solved. The story itself had a very modern setting for its time, and it being at a

The Genre of Mystery in The Signalman and the Monkeys Paw

489 words - 2 pages How do dickens and jacobs use the genre of mystery in the signalman and the monkeys paw? To answer the question, I believe that the authors of The Signalman and The Monkey's Paw use the genres of mystery very well. I am going to explain why I think that in the following essay. The first idea that I am going to look at is the role of fate. We see this take place in both stories, but in slightly different ways. In The Monkey's Paw, we

Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman

896 words - 4 pages atmosphere of fear and the supernatural, they also seem to symbolise the castle itself; they are both mysterious and rather threatening. In 'The Signalman' there are only two characters who both play major roles in the unravelling of the story. The Signalman himself is physically described to fit in with his grim surroundings, he seems to be part of the gloominess of the railway cutting, All what is revealed other than his appearance is

A Comparison of The Signalman and The Red Room

1375 words - 6 pages corridor. The castle seems gargantuan in size and seems to overwhelm the visitor. Also there is not much dialogue in The Red Room. This is mainly because the visitor is on his own with his mind. Therefore the sentences contain a lot of feelings, we know of his fear, and the way he tries to "restore his nerves". This also helps the reader to understand what is going on in the mind of the character. In the Signalman both

Comparison of The Red Room, The Signalman and The Ostler

3766 words - 15 pages great reader. He got a place as an assistant master at Midhurst Grammar School in 1883. He married his cousin Isabel in 1891 but two years later he left her for one of his students, Amy Catherine Robbins, whom he married in 1895. 1903 he joined the Fabian Society but resigned in 1908. Wells wasn't afraid to question Victorian lifestyle and believed in greater sexual freedom for women. Wells relied on his books to

The Ways Dickens Creates Mystery and Suspense in The Signalman

2846 words - 11 pages Describe the ways Dickens creates mystery and suspense in The Signalman 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens, also known as 'No1 Branchline', is part of the collection of short railway stories that are included in 'Mugby Junctions', published in 1866. These stories appear to have been written post the tragic Staplehurst, Kent train crash, in which Dickens was involved, but escaped unhurt. Following the accident, Dickens suffered from what

A Comparison of The Red Room and The Signalman

889 words - 4 pages gives a slow climbing build to a huge climax. To build on the general suspense, the writer added repetitive words throughout, which is affective as it keeps reminding the reader of previous events in the story. This gradually built the tension, and this keeps the reader alert and interested throughout the story. Furthermore the narrators use irony especially the narrator in ‘The Signalman’, as he used irony to fear the main character by using

Suspense and Tension in Charles Dickens' The Signalman

1585 words - 6 pages Suspense and Tension in Charles Dickens' The Signalman In the Charles Dickens' story the narrator meets the signalman who is confessing to him his problems. The narrator comes every night to find out that the signalman was seeing a ghost of a man, who was pointing out that certain train accidents are going to happen. After a few days the narrator goes peacefully to the signalman's shed, and finds out that he

Similar Essays

How Does Charles Dickens Use The Ghost Story Genre To Provoke Fear In Both Victorian And Modern Reader Of 'the Signalman'?

2318 words - 9 pages How does Charles Dickens use the ghost story genre to provoke fear in both Victorian and modern reader of 'The Signalman'?Ghost stories have many conventions. For example the setting is typically a dark gloomy place like a castle with thick fog and strange noises. Other conventions of the genre have the ghost being a white billowing shape floating above the ground. Sometimes, like in this story ghost story are used to explore things. For example

The Atmosphere Of Mystery And Fear In The Speckled Band And The Signalman

1309 words - 5 pages The Atmosphere of Mystery and Fear in The Speckled Band and The Signalman 'The Speckled Band' and 'The Signalman' use language in different ways to make an atmosphere of mystery and fear. These two stories are of a different genre, 'The Speckled Band' is a detective mystery, one of the first of its kind and 'The Signalman' is a supernatural story, yet they are similar as they are both pieces of pre 1914 pros. One of

The Element Of Fear: Dickens´ The Signalman And Wells´ Red Room

2097 words - 8 pages Charles Dickens’ ‘The Signalman,’ and H.G Wells’ ‘Red Room’ are both short stories written to grip readers through the element of fear. Both tales were written near the end of the Victorian era, during Queen Victoria’s reign. Victorian Britain had a liking for literature, including short stories. Short stories were idyllic because they were a source of instant entertainment, the type required in technologically withdrawn times. People were also

Is The Reader Expected To View The Signalman's Account Of Events As Reliable In Charles Dickens' Story "The Signalman"?

762 words - 3 pages signalman would still be lured to his death by the spectre (or what he believed to be the spectre, depending on whether you believe him or not). I believe it would b impossible to make an informed decision as the narrator put in many biased comments for both sides of the argument, which confuses the reader.