• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Both ‘The Red Room’ and ‘The Darkness Out There’ have unexpected endings. Compare the way tension is built up in both stories so that the reader is surprised by how they end.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ben Gait English Essay 10R1 Both 'The Red Room' and 'The Darkness Out There' have unexpected endings. Compare the way tension is built up in both stories so that the reader is surprised by how they end. There are many similarities between 'The Red Room', by H G Wells, and 'The Darkness Out There', by Penelope Lively. They both have unexpected endings, and both contain horrific stories of death in order to add tension. Furthermore, both of the aforementioned writers build up tension and suspense (key elements in keeping readers interested in a story) by using several commonly practised methods, including but not limited to the use of descriptive words, the language, the settings, format and the use of pathetic fallacy. However, there are some crucial differences in the historical and social settings. While Wells, writer of 'The Red Room', aimed his story at a Victorian audience fascinated by the supernatural, and tried to excite people with instant action, tension and ghost stories, Penelope Lively aims her story at a modern audience and uses a more psychological approach. Firstly, I will explore the titles of the two stories. 'The Red Room', to begin with, implies of some sort of haunted setting, as 'Red' could refer to blood or danger. 'The Darkness Out There', meanwhile, suggests a more supernatural theme, although the story does not follow through with that theme. ...read more.

Middle

Sandra is a typical girl, who dreams of having 'a place in the county', a 'brown pony' and a dream family. Her attitude towards Mrs Rutter for the most part is very sympathetic, although the gets a bit uncomfortable at times, such as when Mrs Rutter says 'there's only me to see if you're showing a bit of bum'. When she finds out Kerry is there she is disappointed as she doesn't like Kerry and wants to have a giggle with her friends. She evidently doesn't think much of him, as the story mentions how his chin is 'explosive with acne', and his 'blacked, licked down hair and slitty eyes'. We don't get much of an insight into Kerry's opinion of Sandra however. Mrs Rutter is an interesting character, and is probably the most important tension builder in the story. She appears to be very stereotyped; the round plump body, the shrivelled and wrinkled face and the kind yet patronising language towards the children. However, we learn that she has a dark side, as referred to in the title. The story explores how people's behaviour is affected by their past, and this in itself builds tension. The stereotypes help to enhance this. The characters in The Red Room are strange. The inhabitants of the house all seem very eccentric in their own individual ways, as explained by the fact that they are not referred to by name, but rather by characteristic (e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last thing I will mention is the themes. 'The Darkness Out There' is about how people's behaviour is affected by their past. It has a war theme, as Mrs Rutter talks about the German plane crashing during the war, although of course the actual story is set much more recently than that. The theme in 'The Red Room' is definitely ghost stories. The tension and suspense in the story revolve around the mystery and aura surrounding ghosts and haunted castles. Because it is a ghost story, and ghost stories have a reputation for being unpredictable, people know that anything could happen at any moment, creating suspense. It borrows most of its excitement from the fact that it is a ghost story. In summary, both 'The Darkness Out There', by Penelope Lively, and 'The Red Room', by H G Wells, use many different methods to build up tension and suspense, to varying effect. They have similarities and differences, but they both succeed in building up tension and suspense to a good level. In my opinion, the more successful text is H G Wells' 'The Red Room'. It uses more traditional methods of tension building, to greater effect. It also has a more satisfactory ending to that of 'The Darkness Out There', which simmered off towards the end in my opinion. Although both are good stories, I prefer 'The Red Room'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE H.G. Wells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE H.G. Wells essays

  1. English Coursework on Comparing ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ With ‘The Red Room’

    This sentence makes the reader think of many question in his/her mind, e.g. who is not coming? Why isn't he coming? Why did the father chose to mention this now? Are they afraid of this man's visit? The author created these questions in the readers mind to keep the reader busy and put interest in reading it.

  2. How tension Is built Up in short stories

    Both Stories don't disclose details until the end and this keeps the reader in suspense until the closing lines. There are also differences between the two stories. There is no actual ghost in "The Red Room". The writer is telling us that we are only alarmed by fear itself.

  1. Compare The Pre-1914 Short Story ‘The Red Room’ With The Modern Short Story ‘Farthing ...

    And even when there is a suggestion of death, it is still not apparent as a ghost story, 'The church was just ahead, the car lights swept along a yew hedge, a lynch gate, caught the shoulder of a gravestone.'

  2. ‘The Necklace’ and ‘The Red Room’ Comparative Essay

    The day of the party drew near, and Mme. Loisel seemed sad, restless, and anxious. Yet her dress was ready' Mme.Loisel is unhappy because she has no jewellery to put on.' It annoys me not to have a jewel, not a single stone'. Her husband then refers her back to her old friend in a last desperation to go to the party.

  1. The Red Room and The Monkey's Paw(Compare and Contrast)

    are unfriendly to each other and the man and they are trying to dissuade the man from going to the red room. The atmosphere they make is frightening "A monstrous shadow of him crouched upon the wall". This makes the reader feel that the old people are trying to make the man feel scared.

  2. Pre 1914 Prose Fiction - Stories of Mystery

    to heighten the tension of the story and to make the reader feel more on edge. The fact that the wife of the main character issues him with an ultimatum, 'If you force your way into that cottage, all is over between us' 45 increases tension, because the reader does

  1. The Red Room

    Was a warning from the elderly people who have strange habits. The atmosphere is also created by them. They ignore the man who comes in with 'positive dislike' yet later they all huddle around the fire place. There are repeated references to the old peoples fear, darkness, and shadows which are 'surrounded in an ocean of mystery.'

  2. What Do We Learn From The Setting Of the Bar Of Gold And The ...

    The narrator commences in a parlour of the castle, in which he also finds himself when he wakes up subsequent to the Red Room. When the narrator says, 'I caught a glimpse of myself abbreviated and broadened to an impossible sturdiness in the queer old mirror', it introduces us to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work