The Signal-Man Questions and Answers

The Signal-Man

Dickens's "The Signal-Man" takes place in a remote train signal box. The box is surrounded by a dripping wall of jutting stones that blocks out the sunshine and sky almost entirely. In one...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2017 12:04 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Signal-Man

The narrator for some reason calls down to a railroad signal-man as the story opens. The narrator finds it odd that instead of looking up in the direction from which his voice is coming, the...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2019 10:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

Charles Dickens makes effective use of literary devices to generate a mood of uncertainty and a disturbing sense of dislocation, loneliness, and even powerlessness. Using visual imagery and...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2017 4:35 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

We learn quite a bit about the signalman, not only from the narrator's perspective but also from what he divulges about himself. At the beginning of the story, the signalman seems to be keenly...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2017 8:30 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

The narrator in Dickens's short story "The Signal-Man" is intrigued by the signalman he meets because of the man's strange behavior. The narrator notices that "a fallen colour" seems to overcome...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2018 12:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

The signal man is killed as he is coming out of the tunnel holding a lamp with his back to an oncoming train. The driver says that he tried to attract the signal man's attention, first by using his...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2019 10:28 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

In "The Signal-Man," the ghost appears on three separate occasions, two of which are followed by terrible accidents on the line. After this, the story begins: the narrator meets the signalman and...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2016 1:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

The speaker of these lines is the signalman and he is speaking to the narrator. The signalman feels certain that a "dreadful calamity" is about to happen because two accidents have recently...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2016 6:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

In Dickens' story, the signalman is described from the perspective of his male visitor. Physically, he is a "dark, sallow" man, with a "saturnine" (gloomy) face, a dark beard and full eyebrows. He...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2016 9:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

This "ghost story" of Charles Dickens has many of the elements of the Gothic tale: An atmosphere of mystery and suspense Fear and panic, enhanced by an unknown feeling of threats Ominous...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2015 11:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

In the story, the signalman reports a number of abnormal goings-on while he is at work. The first of these occurs about a year before the signalman meets with the narrator. In this strange...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2016 7:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

To me, the major theme of this story is that human beings care about each other but are totally helpless in the face of our fate and/or powers that are greater than we are. In this story, the...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2009 2:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

"The Signal-Man" is a ghost story, so you should expect to find something eerie and atmospheric in the setting. Dickens gives us a vivid description of the place in question: he tells us that it...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2019 5:23 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

Charles Dickens’ short story The Signal-Man is a macabre tale of a railroad signal-man and the visitor, the story’s narrator, to his lonely, isolated post who befriends him. The narrator soon...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2014 3:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

The climax, or the point of highest emotional intensity, in "The Signal-Man" by Charles Dickens is the narrator's horrified sense that the ghosts of which the signal-man has spoken to him have a...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2016 7:31 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

The narrator of Charles Dickens's story "The Signalman" wonders about the sanity of the man to whom he has called from above the railroad line and the tunnel. For, when the narrator calls to him,...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2010 1:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

In "The Signal-Man," one of the narrator's earliest observations of the signalman relates to his strange behaviour and agitated manner. We see evidence of this early in the story, as the narrator...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2016 8:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

In this ghastly story beginning in media res of a strange, isolated railroad employee, whom the unnamed narrator encounters as he treks downward from a ridge, Charles Dickens expresses his disdain...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2015 6:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

When the narrator leaves the signal man's hut for the second time, he is extremely concerned, for several reasons. First of all, he is pained on behalf of the signal man as a person: he is...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2019 10:37 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

"The Signal-Man" by Charles Dickens is a tale in the tradition of the Christmas ghost-story that was popular in the Victorian era. The narrative chronicles the haunting of a railway signal-man, who...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2019 6:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

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...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2020 8:02 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Signal-Man

In the exposition of "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens, the narrator calls to the signalman below in the tunnel. Startled greatly by his call, the signalman turns this way and that. Finally, the...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2010 1:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

"The Signal-Man" is told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator. As the story opens, he catches sight of a lone single-man, calls out to him, and as the two become better acquainted with one...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2019 9:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

The mystery of the signalman's death lies in the character's diligence and his sensitivity as a "student of natural philosophy." In this story, Dickens employs details that stress the signalman's...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2011 10:25 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

The tunnel represents the fears of both the narrator and the signalman. Because the story is told by the first person narrator, the reader must accept the narrator’s version of events. That is, we...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2019 12:00 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

The narrator does not really believe that what the signalman is telling him can possibly be true. He decides that it is incumbent upon him, as someone who knows that this person in an important...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2018 7:39 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

In this crafted critique of technology, Charles Dickens writes a ghost tale entitled "The Signal-Man." For some unknown reason, the narrator is on "a steep cutting," and he calls out to the...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2018 9:00 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

For the first time, the narrator sees the sight that the signal-man had described to him earlier: Close at the mouth of the tunnel, I saw the appearance of a man, with his left sleeve across his...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2016 9:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

When the signal-man relates his tale of ghostly apparitions, the narrator demonstrates a high degree of scepticism. Instead, he proposes a number of different theories: first of all, that the ghost...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2016 8:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

In "The Signal-Man," Dickens uses several innovative techniques to dramatize and emphasize his theme of isolation in a modernized, technological world. First, the speaker and listener at the...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2010 1:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

The narrator in "The Signal-Man" is never directly described in the text but, by analysing his behaviour and conversation, we can learn much about his character. First of all, the narrator is a...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2016 7:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

When, at the end of the story, the narrator returns to visit the signalman once more, he is gripped by a sense that something is wrong, not least because a "little low hut" has appeared on the...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2018 9:17 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

The very first sentence in Charles Dickens' short story The Signal-Man is, “Halloa! Below there!” With this opening, Dickens' narrator proceeds to relate the story of his encounter with a railroad...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2017 1:10 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

This chilling ghost story revolves around an encounter between the narrator of this tale and a railway signalman. During their first meeting the signalman tells the narrator that he has seen some...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2011 1:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

A lot of what the signalman does strikes the narrator as being a bit strange. This strange behavior starts at the very beginning of the story. At the start of the story, the narrator calls out to...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2010 10:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

"The Signal-Man" by Charles Dickens reflects the anxiety that the Victorians felt about technological progress occurring during the Industrial Revolution. In this story, tragedies occur in spite...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2010 2:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

When the narrator calls to the signalman, instead of turning to the sound, the man turns around and looks down the "Line." Only after doing this does the signal-man and look up to the narrator,...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2011 10:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

It is during their first meeting that the signalman reveals his background and education to the narrator. As a young man, for example, the signalman had ample opportunity to improve his life: he...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2016 9:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

In Charles Dickens's "The Signal-Man" an unnamed narrator meets a railway signalman who tells of a story in which he, the signalman, frequently encounters a strange specter who serves as an omen of...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2018 10:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

First, start with defining the characteristics of Gothic so you know the way to go in your analysis. Gothic characteristics can quickly be defined as including dismal and eerie locations;...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2011 2:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

As he walks in the countryside, the narrator sees and later meets the signalman, whom he spots by the train tracks below him, standing "on the top of the steep cutting." The signalman seems...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2016 1:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

In Charles Dickens' short story, "The Signal-Man," what makes the story so scary and wonderful is Dickens' use of the supernatural. This was not unheard of for Victorian writers; in A Christmas...

Latest answer posted June 11, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

Well, there are certainly many different aspects that you could focus on in this excellent short story by Dickens. One of them which I find rather interesting is the symbolism of the railway and...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

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...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2018 10:42 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

In "The Signal-Man," Dickens creates tension through the descriptions of the setting and the characters. The signal-box, for example, is described as being a "solitary and dismal place" with an...

Latest answer posted June 14, 2016 9:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

With stories such as this one that focus on mystery and terror, a good place to start with analysing how this fear and suspense is created is through setting. The narrator of this excellent story...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2010 6:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

In the spellbinding ghost story of "The Signalman" in which Charles Dickens decries the ills of his Industrial Age such as isolation and dehumanization, the first person narrator appears...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2015 5:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

"The Signal-Man" and "The Red Room" are alike in that each author, Dickens and Strindberg, respectively, takes an evaluative and critical look at his society. They are different in that Dickens...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2010 4:33 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Signal-Man

The first time the signal-man sees the figure at the entrance of the tunnel, he advances toward it, and the figure disappears. The signal-man then runs into the tunnel for about "five hundred...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2019 4:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Signal-Man

As you correctly point out, the signalman dies at the end of the story, so consider writing a newspaper report from the perspective of the narrator. An interview-style report will work best for...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2016 3:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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