Structure

The plot in “The Signal-Man” by Charles Dickens follows a very simple narrative plot which can be summarised as follows: a railway signalman in an isolated cabin station starts seeing a ghost which appears to warn him of subsequent railroad accidents. He shares his story with a down-to-earth rational narrator. The signal-man ends up killed by a train in a way which resembles the warning of the alleged ghost, prompting the narrator to question his rational approach to the events.

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Title

The title of the short story – “The Signal-Man” – only announces about whom the events are about, a signalman working for the railway. However, the title does not say anything about the events themselves, stirring thus readers’ curiosity. After reading the story, the title becomes clearer and can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, the title refers to the railway worker whom the...

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