Charles Dickens' The Signalman and A Birthday by Karen Mansfield

4218 Words17 Pages
Charles Dickens' The Signalman and A Birthday by Karen Mansfield A signalman is a short story written by Charles Dickens. This is a story about a signalman who is driven “mad” by the environment of his work, away from sunlight and people. But he was not alone; a supernatural ghost decides to accompany him too. He has a lot of responsibilities to shoulder. There are only two characters that really are prominent in the short story. In fact in the story, there are only about three to five characters. The important characters are the signalman and the narrator. Charles Dickens uses dialogue to make the characters more appealing and easier to understand. He has written exactly what was need to understand the story, nothing…show more content…
Later on in the story he also stops talking to the narrator, as his job comes first and his problems later, “ In charge of his duties I observed him to be remarkably exact and vigilant, breaking off his discourse at a syllable, and remaining silent until what he had to do was done.” The signalman seemed to love his work even if he did not love his work he was always very devoted to his work. I believe that one’s work environment or even home environment defines a person and that is what builds one’s character. The signalman had nothing in his life except his job; he had nothing to return to his home for, no wife or children. His work environment was unpleasant and seems unhealthy and the narrator saw this as stepping into the “unknown,” “…As if I left the natural world/… entrance to a black tunnel, in whose the massive architecture there was a barbarous depressing, and forbidding air... it had an earthly deadly smell/ His post was in as solitary and dismal place as ever I saw.” A limitation was placed on the signalman through his work. He could not go out and enjoy the sun and light for a few minutes and the signalman did not even try to go and enjoy, he was too devoted to his work. The signalman had to live

    More about Charles Dickens' The Signalman and A Birthday by Karen Mansfield

      Open Document