Suspense - The Signal Man

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Suspense - The Signal Man

The author of The Signal Man immediately creates suspense by using

anonymous quotes, which gives a sense of mystery. Dickens begins by

avoiding using terms that identify ownership, i.e. “When he heard a

voice thus calling to him”.

The 2nd person in the story is the signal man, who at this point is

acting in a very peculiar manner. This produces suspicion amongst the

reader and thus generates interest or suspense.

Throughout the entire novel, Charles Dickens is using language that is

very obviously uncomfortable, i.e. “Angry sunset”, or “Violent


The characters are not described as very ordinary. The signal man is

poor and not very knowledgeable whereas the visitor is wealthy,

intelligent and free to do as he pleases. However, there is a trait

that they both share. They are both very isolated. This lonesome

feeling is far from comforting and therefore adds to the general

atmosphere of the novel.

The scene is described to be very unnerving and fits in very well with

the gothic theme. The cutting is like a deep chasm in th...