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

Compare 'The Red Room' by H.G.Wells and 'The Darkness Under the Stairs' by Lance Salway, Examining how the Writers Create Suspense in the Stories.

Extracts from this document...


Compare 'The Red Room' by H.G.Wells and 'The Darkness Under the Stairs' by Lance Salway, Examining how the Writers Create Suspense in the Stories By Ed Douglas In these two classic gothic ghost stories, suspense is created and maintained in many ways. Although the time period of the stories is different, the ways in which suspense is created are closely linked. These ways include the setting, the structure, the language, the portrayal of characters (and their dialogue) and in the way it is written, for example, first person ('The Red Room'), and third person ('The Darkness Under The Stairs'). In my opinion, 'The Red Room' being written in first person makes the story more believable. This can be seen in the quote, 'It will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me'. Although this quote does not create suspense, it can be interpreted as the characters fearlessness, which, in turn, emphasizes the shock in the quote, 'lifting up my voice, screamed with all my might', as the drastic change in feelings shows the immense fear in the character as the 'screamed with all my might' shows us. The quote 'it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me' can also be interpreted as the main character's fear, as I feel he might be almost kidding himself, to the extent of believing the complete impossibility of the supernatural. ...read more.


This repetition could also be repeated to get the reader almost used to the fear, so the build up to the finale is very big. H.G.Wells also uses the tension and panic to build up to the finale of his story. He does this by manipulating the light changes in 'The Red Room', as the quote 'the flames [that lit the room] dwindled and vanished' shows. This quote creates suspense as it creates the image of complete darkness (which is a common fear in man) as the word 'vanished' suggests, the immediate change in light, which almost makes the reader jump. The language in both of these classic, gothic ghost stories relate greatly to the time period of which they were written. The example for this in 'The Red Room' is the quote I shall be so much the wiser , for I come to the business with an open mind'. This quote shows the old English style sentence structure as 'I shall be so much the wiser' shows (the translation into modern day sentence structure is probably 'I will be much wiser'). You can also tell of the period in which L.Salway's story was written, as it is generally more informal (which is more modern as people tend to be more informal) ...read more.


to create the effect of secludedness and loneliness because it gives the impression that 'the red room' is far away from everybody (maybe even out of earshot, which would lead to the common fear of no-one being able to hear your screams), L.Salway creates the impression of the derelict house to create suspense, as the quote 'drafty as a tomb' shows. This quote creates suspense as it portrays the house as drafty (the coldness being a big part in most ghost stories, for example 'The Sixth Sense') and the tomb referring to death, of dead bodies and maybe even of ghosts. The word 'tomb' also portrays the house as empty, as when we think of a tomb we think of nothing apart from a single dead person, which makes us feel we are alone with this dead thing (no way out). In conclusion, both authors create and maintain suspense and tension in many different ways, including the setting, the language and the structure of both stories. I think that the suspense in H.G.Wells' story isn't as well maintained as in Salways', but in my opinion this is better as it creates more suspense when the time comes, whereas in Salways' story the suspense is always there and you might even get used to it. By Ed. Douglas ...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 ...

    When the sergeant arrived at the house, the mood changes with the writer using powerful and effective words such as: 'Pulsating,' 'oppressive,' 'magic,' and 'hoarsely.' The writer has used onomatopoeia in the story to create suspense, e.g. 'As the gate banged to loudly and heavy footsteps came towards the door.'

  2. How Are Suspense and Tension Created in The Red Room?

    Fear that will not have light nor sound." The author's use of colour adds to the atmosphere increases suspense and tension firstly because he calls the story The RED Room. The use of red creates tension because red is commonly associated with evil and danger.

  1. How does H.G.Wells develop atmosphere and suspense in the opening section of The Red ...

    This shows the narrator before our eyes change from being a rational, "systematic" man to being a man who had doubt in his mind and who is questioning his own thoughts and what he is sure he saw and heard.

  2. How does HG Wells create fear and suspense in the Red Room

    close together, dark against the fire light, staring at me over their shoulders, with an impression of ancient faces.' This adds to the atmosphere and suspense as it gives a disturbing image of fear although you want to read on, to discover what happens.

  1. Both the Phantom Coach and the Red Room are Victorian ghost stories, however they ...

    This contrast creates fear and an element of shock and insecurity. "The Phantom Coach" was written in 1852. "The Red Room" was written in 1896. In only forty-four years, man has gone from seeing the 'living dead' to a rational explanation for a similar situation.

  2. In "The Red Room" by H.G.Wells, how does the author build the tension and ...

    The author shows that the narrator is thinking a lot about the ghosts and paranormal activity because he has a conversation with himself, this also shows that he is going a bit crazy, it also shows that he is trying to calm himself down by trying not to believe what

  1. Examine the ways in which fear and tension are built up by the writers ...

    His father doesn't want to talk about it when Dickie asked if it's like a school test. His father answered briefly and walks away. ' He rattled the sheets in vexation', this shows that he wasn't prepared to talk about the subject. Mrs Jordan is shown to be more emotional.

  2. How do the H G Wells Stories The Red Room, The Cone and the ...

    He believes there are no ghosts. He is very cynical, which is shown when he refuses to believe what the three older characters tell him. The character says `I can assure you said I, that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.'

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