Charles Dickens' The Signalman and A Birthday by Karen Mansfield Essays

Charles Dickens' The Signalman and A Birthday by Karen Mansfield Essays

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Charles Dickens' The Signalman and A Birthday by Karen Mansfield


A signalman is a short story written by Charles Dickens. This is a
story about a signalman who is driven “mad” by the environment of his
work, away from sunlight and people. But he was not alone; a
supernatural ghost decides to accompany him too. He has a lot of
responsibilities to shoulder.

There are only two characters that really are prominent in the short
story. In fact in the story, there are only about three to five
characters. The important characters are the signalman and the
narrator. Charles Dickens uses dialogue to make the characters more
appealing and easier to understand. He has written exactly what was
need to understand the story, nothing less or nothing more. The
characters are described physically briefly but Charles Dickens has
described their attitude, nature, thoughts and character to a great
deal. Through out ‘The Signalman’ the signalman’s name is not
mentioned which seems quite awkward. The signalman tells the narrator
about his worries and still they do not ask each other their names. It
seemed a little strange!

The signalman was troubled but it did not seem so if a person who
would have seen him for the first time and judged him by his
appearance. The signalman’s appearance described in the story as, “…he
was a dark sallow man, with a dark beard and rather heavy eyebrows.”
He seemed to look perfectly reasonable and normal but you should never
judge a book by its cover. You cannot tell his problems merely by his
appearance! (Proved by the short story)

The signalman is a very peculiar man. When the narrator called him
from the top of the steep cutting he did not seem to reply and walked
down the railway li...


... middle of paper ...


...is short story is written by a woman it seems to be more
descriptive. If ‘A Birthday,’ and ‘A Signalman,’ were compared Andreas
Binzer’s character would be unquestionably more descriptive than that
of the signalman. Karen Mansfield described everything from his
teeth, attitude and nature in greater detail. Meanwhile, Charles
Dickens just wrote what was needed exactly.

The way people see each other seems to differ so drastically. In one
short story you try to understand a person’s problems and situation
whereas, the other shows how inconsiderate a person can be and still
be blessed with great people around them. I spent a long time writing
this essay and I believe that if I take the time I would really show
what people are like. It amazed me how realistic the characters in
these short stories are and that many people like those can be found
in the world.

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