Sunday, October 20, 2019
How does Charles Dickens create suspense and fear in The Signalman Essays
How does Charles Dickens create suspense and fear in The Signalman Essays How does Charles Dickens create suspense and fear in The Signalman Essay How does Charles Dickens create suspense and fear in The Signalman Essay Essay Topic: Literature Charles Dickens uses many methods to create suspense and fear in The Signalman story. He introduces fear to make the short, ghost story more interesting. Dickens set his ghost story on a railway line, which at the same time has a very modern setting and not a traditional dark, crooked old house. The tale begins with a gripping and dramatic opening line, which instantly grabs the readers attention. The first line introduces the narrator who was left anonymous throughout the story. This instantly builds up tension, as the reader does not know what sort of a person the narrator really is. When the narrator is a character in the story, it makes it easier to know how the person is feeling; this makes the reader more aware of the character and can begin to relate to them. Charles Dickens begins to create fear and suspense in the first couple of lines. The story begins with halloa! Below there! The words were shouted by a mysterious figure standing above the cutting on top of the bridge. It leaves us guessing who had shouted the words; all we know at this point is that it was a figure in the distance. Halloa was an informal welcome in the late 19th century. The actions create mystery, which is effective to create the overall suspense. Also you still havent had any kind of a physical description of the signalman so at this time you dont even know if hes human or not and you cant just make an guess you have to read on. The description of the signalman is also quite fearful as when he describes him with, pale skin, dark hair and eyes, you feel quite scared of him, when they say he has his hand to his chin, that is quite mysterious. You want to know why he has his hand to his chin The signalman is an important character as once they get talking and his actions are very weird to start off with; He stands carefully in the railway with his hand on his chin, not moving a muscle until they are face to face Before he stirred I was near enough to have touched him. Also when they do meet he makes no attempt to start the conversation, instead he looks at the red light Look towards the red light He seems very mysterious and again pretty strange. As they begin to talk again the man becomes slightly threatening and the narrator thinks that he might be a ghost This was a spirit. This is a very tense point in the story because the ghosts identity may have already been given away, but the signalman begins to show fear and asks if they have met before. After their conversation the man leaves and the signalman tells him that on his return journey not call out those words. Halloa! Below there. It builds tension over what these words really mean to the signalman and why he is scared of them. The signalman himself looks mysterious A dark pale man. This would add to the readers suspense and build up the tension, as he gets closer. They go back to the signal box and from his long description you realise that he is quite a knowledgeable man Worked at fractions and decimals. If he is so clever why is he a signalman? He is also a very skilled workman Safest of men to be employed. These questions add mystery to who he really is, which in builds up the suspense. Within their talk, the signalman looks outside toward the tunnel more than once. This creates mystery of whats going to happen, and why does he keep looking out of the box? In the first conversation he tells the man that he is troubled. This makes you ask the question what is he troubled about and does it have anything to do with his weird actions before? Could he be or knows the ghost? These questions make you think about whats about to happen? This also builds suspense. On the mans return visit he is told about the mysterious figure and how it disappeared. It was gone. This long passage describing the ghosts actions adds tension and what is the ghost going to do next? He also clears up his odd actions (when he looked down the tunnel). The ghost says those very same words. We now know that he is not the ghost so some tension is lost but it is now a matter of if the man will see the ghost and what it will say. He also tells the man of the lady who died in the carriage just after he had seen the figure Within six hours after this appearance, the memorable accident happened. You begin to think of the death and the ghosts and start wondering whos next? He is described as seemed to make the place strike colder to me, but I said no more.. This a weird description to give someone, could he be the ghost? As you here about the ghost, the narrators actions are very intriguing,. The man has the same reactions when he hears about the second ghost In the end it is the narrators fault that the signalman dies because if he hadnt called down to him in the first place, the signalman would have looked up as the train came down the tunnel. Below there, look out. The first words of the story are the most decisive words of the story. Could it have been fate? And no matter what had happened between the start of the story and his death, it couldnt have been prevented. The man obviously feels responsible for his death and you feel that if he hadnt called down to the man none of this would of happened. This is quite a mysterious and even more, a scary thought.