The Signal-Man Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

Start Your Free Trial

What elements in it make "The Signalman" a good Gothic story? What are elements in it that are gothic in nature?

Expert Answers info

mwestwood, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from The University of Alabama


calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

This "ghost story" of Charles Dickens has many of the elements of the Gothic tale:

  1. An atmosphere of mystery and suspense
  2. Fear and panic, enhanced by an unknown feeling of threats 
  3. Ominous happenings, visions, portentous events
  4. Inexplicable or supernatural events,
  5. High emotion; characters overcome by terror; a feeling of impending doom

1. (Atmosphere)The isolated locations of the train tunnel, a "lonesome place," with its "crooked prolongation" and "dripping-wet wall of jagged stone" and the unnamed protagonist and narrator create mystery. In addition, there is the signalman's strange and mysterious apparition that he has seen, and the narrator's first impression that the signalman himself is "an apparition."

2. (Fear) The signalman is initially fearful of the narrator because his greeting reminds him of a disturbing apparition that he has seen and the oddly similar...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 431 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial