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Analyse the short story 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells. How does it create and maintain suspense?

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  • Essay length: 767 words
  • Submitted: 17/03/2004
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GCSE H.G. Wells

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The Red Room

Analyse the short story 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells. How does it create and maintain suspense?

The 'Red Room' is a pre-twentieth century short story, written as a gothic mystery. Gothic mystery short stories were predominant in the late 18th century and the early 19th century. Gothic stories are full of mystery and terror and would include ghosts, haunted rooms, old derelict houses and a feeling of mystery. The features of gothic writing would aid the reader to become involved in the story from the outset.

At the beginning of the story, the three characters that reside in the castle are described. The three characters are elderly and deformed and establish a sense of unease and discomfort in both the story's narrator and the reader.

One of the old people is a 'man with a withered arm' who repeatedly says to the narrator, 'its of your own choosing'. This emphasises the risk that the narrator is taking by entering the Red Room and some fear may creep into the narrator's mind. This also makes the reader think about the mystery of the room.

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