The Signal-Man Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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What do we learn about the background and education of the signalman? Why are these important?

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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 was a student of "natural philosophy" and "attended lectures," but he did not see his education through to completion. Instead, he chose to "run wild" and squandered these chances. This is how he came to his current profession, and he seems content with the choices he has made:

"He had no complaint to offer about that. He had made his bed, and he lay upon it."

While these details may seem irrelevant, they are important in validating the signalman's tale of events. Once we realise that the signalman is relatively well-educated, for instance, it makes it more difficult to dismiss his supernatural tale as a fabrication or a trick of the mind, as the narrator first suspects. This is effective in creating a mysterious and tense mood, as the reader realises that the ghost might indeed be real.

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laurenebsary01 | Student

connections essentially amongst signalman and the storyteller who are fundamentally the main characters in the story you could discuss how since its composed from the storytellers perspective, the peruser takes a gander at things through his eyes and you accept what the storyteller accepts, thus you have shared stun toward the end of the story when the signalman kicks the bucket in such a baffling way you can discuss the difference between the characters, similar to the signalman living down a dim, desolate removing from individuals all his time, and the storyteller who is truly insightful and notice having 'patients', so he could be a specialist or some likeness thereof. the whole way the signalman is made so dim, his appearance is dim, his cutting is dim, he lives cut off from any type of contact and civilisation. the way the signalman is depicted makes you think he will be some insane old man who lives down a gap and sees things, hears things and daydreams.