The Signal-Man Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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How is fear created in "The Signal-Man" by Charles Dickens?  

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Another way that Dickens creates fear in this story is through his use of setting. This is perhaps most evident in the opening paragraphs of the story when the narrator first arrives at the signal box.

You will notice that Dickens does not reveal specific details about the setting to the reader. For example, he does not tell the reader that he is meeting a signalman at his place of work. Instead, Dickens creates a sense of fear and uncertainty by emphasizing the strange sights and sounds of the setting. He compares the setting to a "deep trench," for instance, and highlights the "angry sunset." He also describes the "violent pulsation" caused by a passing train, as well as the dank, dark atmosphere.

By honing in on these details, Dickens creates a setting which evokes fear and uncertainty in the reader while also building tension and suspense ahead of the story's main events.

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luminos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Dickens creates a sense of fear in a number ways. Here are three.

1. Imagery that evokes desolation, foreboding, and...

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