Theme Of The Signalman And The Signalman

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In Gothic Literature, writers are able to choose between traditional and contemporary. This style of writing typically relates back to fiction that gives an atmosphere of uncertainty by featuring horror, death, curses or the supernatural. In “The Signalman” written by Charles Dickens, we can depict that his writing falls under the category of traditional gothic literature as he chooses to stress the fear of the unknown- whether it be the setting or the supernatural. On the contrary, Roald Dahl who wrote “Lamb to the Slaughter” chooses to write under the category of contemporary gothic literature, as we are introduced to a familiar setting, and common issues that arise when we face reality. Nevertheless, both stories choose to emphasize the…show more content…
By zooming into the word “curious”, we clearly see that he is eager to learn about this supernatural being that seems to appear to him, not once, but several times. As well as that, we see that this abnormal appearance adds to the suspense as we are unsure of what it is and how its presence has the Signalman craving answers. Furthermore, the quote “That what troubles me so dreadfully, is the question”, shows that this creature gradually took a toll on him by increasing in trauma overtime. By emphasizing on the “what”, we see that he is unsure of what it is that is troubling him. He is constantly being disturbed, both physically and mentally by this being that appears to him frequently, almost warning him about an event that could take place in the future. Besides that, the quote “Nameless horror” confirms that Dickens stressed the importance of using the presence of the unknown. Not only did he mention that this being was “nameless”, but he even took it a step further to yet again strain that they are a “horror”, possibly signifying that they are a living nightmare that continues to haunt the Signalman. This can clearly be seen when we zoom into the word “nameless” as we can classify this being anonymous as we are uncertain to who this “horror” really is. Alternatively, Dahl selects to make use of what’s familiar to us. Unlike…show more content…
For Dickens, the recurrence of insanity would make sense as his style of writing tends to include the supernatural and the paranormal, however, for Dahl, the recurrence of insanity would come as a shock to many since contemporary gothic literature includes more events that familiar and realistic. Dickens’ characters insanity can be seen in the quote “How your imagination misleads you” because once the Signalman saw the individual that appeared to him, his mind began racing with thoughts that seemed to overwhelm him. He couldn’t think straight as his mind was focused on figuring out what it was and why it seemed to warn him, and this ultimately led to his demise. By zooming in on the word “misleads”, it evidently shows us how he was involuntarily submerged with thoughts that drowned him and how failing to control his sanity led to his downfall, and later, his death. Additionally, the quote “May have been infection in his mind” similarly shows us how the appearance of the individual almost triggered this thought that infected his mind and rid him of thoughts that were unperturbed. He thought that he was seeing things, and not experiencing them, and because of that, he had a strenuous yet continuous fight with his judgment and let it overcome him easily. By zooming into the word “infection”, we see how inauspicious it is, it wasn’t
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