The Signal-Man Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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Discuss the supernatural element portrayed by Charles Dickens in "The Signal-Man."

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In "The Signal-Man," the narrator, by nature solitary, feels drawn to interact with a signalman. The signalman, standing by a lonely box near the railway tracks deep in a dark gulley, has the job of waving red flags, operating lights, and sometimes even pulling a metal lever to warn trains of danger or stop them before a disaster can occur. The narrator emphasizes the isolation and forlornness of this man's job.

As they talk, the narrator learns that the signalman has become increasingly anxious and upset because he has been seeing a "spectre" that forewarns of dangers that he is unable to stop, primarily because he doesn't know the specifics of the cases.

While it might be easy to dismiss the signalman's reports of the appearance of the ghost as a figment of his imagination brought on by working all by himself in a depressing place, the signalman has witnessed too many coincidental tragedies since the appearance of the ghost for the narrator to dismiss the signalman's words. Finally,...

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