The Ways Dickens Creates Mystery and Suspense in The Signalman

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Describe the ways Dickens creates mystery and suspense in The

'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 we would call today, Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder. This may have contributed to the reflective and supernatural nature of 'The Signalman'.

The story of 'The Signalman' is a mysterious tale about a character that stumbles upon an isolated train cutting and there meets the signalman in
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Questions are raised about the recipient's identity~ is he the signalman?

Following the first line, he looks around to face the tunnel~ "looked down the line". A natural response to "…below there" would be to glance upwards. Again Dickens constitutes the inexplicable, building up the tension and suspense.

The actions of the signalman are nondescript, his body language is unusual, and provokes the narrator to heed that there was "something remarkable in his manner". His figure is described as "foreshortened and shadowed" which pronounces as sinister and uncanny. Whilst the narrator looks down on the steep cutting he is "steeped in the glow of an angry sunset", giving the influence that he is unable to see things clearly? The "angry sunset" is an example of personification that
Dickens relates. However, it also evokes dispute about the narrator's state of mind. In a sunset he sees anger~ is this normal? He is indeed of a petulant nature.

Almost immediately the landscape evolves into jeopardy as a "vague vibration" arouses and quickly erupts into a "violent pulsation" and an "oncoming rush". These effective adjectives that Dickens uses assist the tension of the narrative. He also sustains mystery by withholding vital information involving the sensations and what is causing them. An aspect of uncertainty arises. A significant lexical set of speed is easily detected, for example, "rapid", "rush",
"skimming" that convey peril and a feeling
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