Charles Dickens’ The Signalman and A Birthday by Karen MansfieldA signalman is a short story written by Charles Dickens. This is astory about a signalman who is driven “mad” by the environment of hiswork, away from sunlight and people. But he was not alone; asupernatural ghost decides to accompany him too. He has a lot ofresponsibilities to shoulder.
There are only two characters that really are prominent in the shortstory. In fact in the story, there are only about three to fivecharacters. The important characters are the signalman and thenarrator. Charles Dickens uses dialogue to make the characters moreappealing and easier to understand. He has written exactly what wasneed to understand the story, nothing less or nothing more. Thecharacters are described physically briefly but Charles Dickens hasdescribed their attitude, nature, thoughts and character to a greatdeal. Through out ‘The Signalman’ the signalman’s name is notmentioned which seems quite awkward. The signalman tells the narratorabout his worries and still they do not ask each other their names. Itseemed a little strange!
The signalman was troubled but it did not seem so if a person whowould have seen him for the first time and judged him by hisappearance. The signalman’s appearance described in the story as, “…hewas a dark sallow man, with a dark beard and rather heavy eyebrows.”He seemed to look perfectly reasonable and normal but you should neverjudge a book by its cover. You cannot tell his problems merely by hisappearance! (Proved by the short story)
The signalman is a very peculiar man. When the narrator called himfrom the top of the steep cutting he did not seem to reply and walkeddown the railway li…
…is short story is written by a woman it seems to be moredescriptive. If ‘A Birthday,’ and ‘A Signalman,’ were compared AndreasBinzer’s character would be unquestionably more descriptive than thatof the signalman. Karen Mansfield described everything from histeeth, attitude and nature in greater detail. Meanwhile, CharlesDickens just wrote what was needed exactly.
The way people see each other seems to differ so drastically. In oneshort story you try to understand a person’s problems and situationwhereas, the other shows how inconsiderate a person can be and stillbe blessed with great people around them. I spent a long time writingthis essay and I believe that if I take the time I would really showwhat people are like. It amazed me how realistic the characters inthese short stories are and that many people like those can be foundin the world.