Essay about Suspense and Tension in Charles Dickens' The Signalman

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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 mysteriously died.

The signalman at the train station sees sightings of a ghost in the distance. However the figure is trying to tell the signalman something important, but each time the signalman sees this figure doing some actions something bad always happens, this is where Dickens
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Also the fact that the narrator is shouting it to the signalman, but the signalman doesn't quite know where the noise is coming from and looks straight down the line to see where it was coming from as if he has heard it before, is very scary because it makes us wonder why the signal man is looking down the line when the narrator is shouting from above. However once we have read the story everything fits into place, because the signalman has heard that same phrase from the figure.

Once the signalman realises where the voice is coming from the narrator asks him if he can come down from the bridge, when he is down the signalman is not quite sure whether or not the narrator is a ghost

"Monstrous thought…was a spirit"

But we know by reading the story he is not a ghost but then again the narrator begins to wonder if the signalman is a ghost because he hasn't said anything to the narrator. The narrator tries to make conversation with the narrator and Dickens shows this through indirect speech:

"This was a lonesome post to occupy"

If we were to say this in direct speech we would probably say something like this: "this is a lonesome post to occupy, isn't it?" if we use the direct form of speech in the story it wouldn't create the same tense atmosphere, and the interpretations would be different.

But because the signalman isn't giving a reply to
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