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Compare the two short stories

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Introduction

English Coursework 3 - Compare Two Short Stories. I have been asked to compare two short stories for my English coursework. These two stories are called "The Red room" and "Farthing House". These stories are considerably different, partly because of the respective eras during which they were written. "Farthing House" was written by a female author, Susan Hill in 1992, while "The Red Room" was written by the famous H G Wells in the late 19th Century. There is almost a century of culture and ideological changes between the two stories. This difference means the language used and settings are almost certainly going to be quite different. "Farthing House" is a more unhackneyed ghost story where the spectre is not particularly frightening, and there is quite a complex background; on the other hand "The Red Room" is a classical ghost story with an evil ghost set in a stereotypical haunted castle with dark and dingy passages, with occurrences that may be interpreted as frightening. The main character is a young man willing to investigate these hauntings, having been warned against such actions by three strange old people. An obvious difference just from glancing over the stories is that "The Red Room" is told in first person as it happens, whereas the latter story, "Farthing House", is told in the first person in the past tense. To start comparing I am going to look at the setting of these two stories. ...read more.

Middle

This all builds up to create a very comfortable environment. The mistrust and tension is eased y the storyline, and the impact is of reversing any apprehension originally created. However a few hints that had been dropped told her that a person had died in her room. This meant that when she was alone in her room she was almost expecting a nightmare or even to see an apparition. She seems to feel this because of the sheer size of the room and the unknown whereabouts of its previous occupant; however she was perhaps expecting to see the phantom of an old person who had previously inhabited that room. She had also previously heard the sound of a baby crying and had put it down to the television in the matron's room. As she was going to sleep she had the feeling that there should be someone else in her bedroom because it was too big. Then over the next couple of nights she sees the ghostly figure and once again hears the baby. As she finds out the story behind this wraith, she feels sympathy more than fright of the young mother who had lost her baby, especially having dreamed the first night of her own baby many years before. However when the house appears to change physically she appears very unsettled, but never fearful. So to summarise, the author of "The Red Room" creates a much greater sense of fear and worry, whereas the author of "Farthing House" does not; she just explains a completely different ...read more.

Conclusion

There are still, however, a couple of similarities. There are two unexplained events; the writer does not explain how or if the building had travelled back in time- or was this just a trick of the mind. The other that is never fully explained is where the baby's crying was coming from. The lady believes that it is just a T.V but we later learn that the ghost that she sees is searching for a lost child, and maybe it could be that. This adds to the theme of mother and child that runs right the way through the story. Some examples of this are, the narrator is writing to her daughter who is pregnant with her child; when she sees the wraith it is searching presumably for her lost child; then at the end of the story long after "Farthing House" has been demolished, a newspaper report tells of a woman 'distraught at the loss of her own baby' stealing another child from its pram outside a shop. My personal response to these two stories is that I find them both tedious and monotonous. However if I had to choose a preference I would certainly say that 'Farthing House' is the better book, as I do not feel that old-fashioned ghost stories are appealing or interesting as they are far too predictable. The more complex storyline of "Farthing House" does appeal to me. I also felt that the feminine perspective added a touch of realism to the character and therefore the storyline. Created by Richard Smith ...read more.

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