Essay on Irony in The Signalman

Essay on Irony in The Signalman

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The Signalman is as explicit in its irony, as it is effective in its
purpose, of creating an awe of mystery around the story.

To summarise the story we must first understand that in hindsight the
very name of the story, 'The Signalman' is as explicit in its irony,
as it is effective in its purpose, of creating an awe of mystery
around the story. It cruelly but entertainingly, creates the false
perception, a façade, of the story's name being based around the
central character of the Signalman, when in fact it is in relation to
the ghostly apparition, which gives 'Signals' to the haunted signalman
in his secluded box.

Dickens indeed uses many of the essential techniques commonly used in
short story writing, Starting with only using the bare minimum of
important characters.

To set the scene we are thrown straight into the action (the first
sign of a short story) And we see that an unnamed character tries to
catch the attention of the lonely Signalman (the absence of names is
also a sign of a short story, as names can detract from the importance
of the singular story and give away too much information).

Through the use of the signalman's silence we are thrown into
wondering who this figure is (building suspense through withholding
information) but slowly he lets his guard down and welcomes the
un-named character, Mr A, for all purposes to come down. As Mr a gains
the trust of the Signalman explains to him his terrifying apparitions
before horrible deaths, given to him by a silent figure that then
disappears.

The Signalman then speaks of the way that, just before a death, a
ghost would appear and do some action that would eventually represent
a fatality yet to come, such as mourn for a lost passeng...


... middle of paper ...


... other he set up homes for
homeless women and a centre for whores.

During the lifetime of the genius the1800's developed around him so
fast he sped along so fast he ended up leaving people behind. He was
pushed into writing by three factors, His social conscious, which made
him believe that it was his moral obligation to spread the news of how
badly the working class of his society were treated and the unfairness
of life, secondly to entertain, because his words were so prolific,
that he knew that he could touch more lives in this way than in any
other, last but perhaps most important, he used his writing to escape.
His very unhappy childhood was followed by an unhappy marriage and a
messy break up, his works were a way of pouring his emotions, his very
soul into these endless volumes, giving him a way of expressing his
pain and anxieties to the nation.

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