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

Compare and contrast H.G. Wells 'The Red Room' and 'Farthing House'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast H.G. Wells 'The Red Room' and 'Farthing House' "There was no mistake about it. The flame vanished, as if the wick had been suddenly nipped between a finger and thumb, leaving the wick neither glowing or smoking, but black." Ghost stories use dark and fear of it as a key element, and most occurrences happen in the night, and/or in the dark. The aim of this essay is to compare and contrast the two short stories - The Red Room by H.G. Wells and Farthing House by Susan Hill. The Red Room was written pre twentieth century and Farthing house was written post twentieth century. I will mainly look at the formulaic structure of the stories and the tension that is built up throughout them by the authors. A good ghost story involves a mixture of tension and an interesting plot or storyline. The formulaic elements - e.g. old houses/graveyards/other sinister settings, threatening housekeepers/guests/noises, staying overnight, dark/night, threatening weather (e.g. storms, thunder) and a death/previous ghostly history all help to create the genre and entice the reader to continue reading. There should be twists in the story, to help make it more interesting, and less predictable. There is also often a lot of mystery involved - mysterious key characters, unknown noises and people etc. ...read more.

Middle

The stories were written nearly 100 years apart, but still both follow a similar formula, although they have different plots, this is because it has been found to be effective and interesting to readers, and has worked in the past. Therefore it does not need to be changed. The tension created within both stories is very different, in 'The Red Room' the tension increases throughout the story and then dramatically drops towards the end. At the beginning a relatively low point of tension is shown and this is because the man is quite confident - "'I can assure you,' said I, 'that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.'" But as the man becomes more frightened, the level of tension also increases. H.G. Wells achieves this by using a combination of long, complicated and descriptive sentences, with shorter ones to make the reader think more about what they are reading, and also read faster. One of these combinations is "'Steady on!' I said. 'These candles are wanted,' speaking with a half-hysterical facetiousness, and scratching away at a match the while for the mantle candlesticks". This is towards the height of tension and shortly after this, the tension drops right down to normal level - "I opened my eyes in daylight" The tension in 'Farthing House' fluctuates a lot; it rises and drops throughout the story, as many 20th century horror stories do. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ghost stories have been popular for a long time - as is shown by the fact that 'The Red Room' was written over 100 years ago. I think that this is because they use a formula to entice the reader into continuing to read, and this works, throughout the ages. Ghost stories are past from generation to generation, and the rules of writing can be changed to create new and interesting plots. Some elements of the first formula have stuck, which is why 'The Red Room' and 'Farthing House' are so similar, although written years apart. I think that they have stuck because they are a winning combination that attracts readers. Over time ghost stories have become more popular and some stories have also been shown as films or television programmes. This shows that they are still a popular part of culture and probably will continue to be in the future. Films and television programmes still often stick to the formula - setting and history, for example. However the visual images and plots differ. Farthing House is testimony to this, the setting is similar but the plot and purpose differs. "I was not afraid anymore, not now that I knew who she was and why she had been there, getting out of her bed in Cedar room, to go in search of her baby. ...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. Comparing Two Horror Short Stories - 'The Monkey's Paw' written by W. W. Jacobs ...

    About two weeks after the funeral of their son the mother decided to use their second wish to bring their son back to life. About two hours after they had made the wish, there was a continuous knocking at the door of the house.

  2. Gothic Horror stories. The three stories are 'The Signalman' written by Charles Dickens in ...

    it is because it is an remote place in the country that nobody really cares about. This has the effect of making it scary, spooky, strange and unearthly. This setting, like the other two, is also below ground level and is frosty, mysterious, clammy, and smells.

  1. The Time Machine and the Sound of Thunder are both science fiction stories. Their ...

    The way the Wells writes is in more depth then meets the eye, this is because of all the different way he approaches things in the real world, one of these depths are that if u read some of the words backwards they give u another word, this new word

  2. This essay is going to illustrate how 'The red room' by H.G Wells and ...

    his body, as on several occasions' starts shouting at this invisible spirit, as he runs around the room fighting to keep the candles alight. "Steady on!' I said. 'These candles are wanted,' speaking with a half-hysterical facetioness". H.G Wells uses similes and metaphors to create atmosphere and adds to the crescendo of tension.

  1. Discuss the ways in which H.G Wells creates tension and drama in The Red ...

    It is quite ironic that after this the fire goes out and this meant that the narrator had to fight fear alone. There are two ways that he tried to defeat fear. The first by which he tried to retreat to 'the moonlit corridor' and the second by which he

  2. Wider Reading: Compare and contrast the landlady and a terrible strange bed, which story ...

    Billy had ambition to become a businessman and the writer wanted to show the readers that Billy was young and acting posh. The writer also tells us that Billy didn't have the money to spend like real businessman "How much do you charge" this tells us that Billy isn't a

  1. knowing and not knowing humour and iriony in H.G Wells' short stories

    The Cockney voices of the cabman and others, who are chasing after the terrorist, also adds humour to the story. Another ironic point in the story is that the Bacteriologist's wife is called Mini, and she has a habit of petty nagging.

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

    Isolation is when a place or person is by themselves or away from civilization. Isolation may affect the audience by making them feel like they are by themselves and that because they are the only person reading the book they will feel scared.

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