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Conventions of the Gothic Horror - The Red Room by H.G. Wells

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How does the 'Red Room' reflect the Conventions of the Gothic Horror Genre? Would you enter the Red Room? Written by H.G. Wells in the 19th century, the Red Room is a spooky tale of mystery and suspense. An ambiguous story written in first person follows the short account of a man who is unafraid of ghosts and is going to stay the night in the apparently haunted Red Room. As he stays in the Red Room he lights all the candles and settles himself in an armchair, but as he's sitting there the candles start to go out, he begins racing with an unknown force trying to put out the candles and he is trying to light them back up, in the confusion he is knocked out and is found in the morning. We learn as the story goes on it's not a creature of any kind; it's not the ghost of the old early or the timid wife who was frightened by her joking husband. It is a person's own fear, which has neither light nor sound. There are many conventions of the Gothic Horror genre in the story of the Red Room, one of the conventions in the Red Room is that it is set in an old derelict house: "The house might have been deserted on the yesterday instead of eighteen months ago." ...read more.


This represents the Victorians being afraid of another change of society and confusion on who to believe, science or religion. 'Thunder and lightning' is a metonymy that reflects the lower class of the Victorian era striking to break free of the rich, higher class. The lower class were kept down by the higher class as everyone believed you were meant to be poor, as god had chosen who would be poor and who would be rich. As soon as these beliefs were shown to be untrue by Science the lower class, who had also believed this, started to fight back and break free of the hold of the rich people. A metonymy for this story is 'gusts of wind blowing out lights'. This makes the character feel scared as if there is some sort of supernatural being blowing out the lights and this creates a sense of fear and horror within the atmosphere. To the Victorians the lights represent their beliefs and they are blown as science came along and proved them wrong, they would be afraid of this as they have nothing to believe in, nothing to follow or no one to follow. 'Echoes, draughts and flickering fires' is another convention reflected in the Red Room: "The echoes rang up and down the spiral staircase" This quote shows us that the house is so empty ...read more.


The Victorians would have been nervous and overwrought as their beliefs, shattered and destroyed, were no longer there and they had nothing to follow or no one to lead them, they could not depend upon themselves. My final convention will be 'Domination or abuse of a female': "A power of darkness. To put such a curse upon a woman! It lurks there always." This quotation shows us that the example the man uses is a woman, he uses this as if it would only frighten a woman or put a curse on her. This creates an atmosphere of domination and power over one gender. Women in the Victorian times were seen as the weaker gender, they were not given equal rights or chances. In conclusion, this story 'The Red Room' is a perfect example of a Gothic Horror story. The Red Room reflects nearly every Convention in the Gothic Horror genre and shows the Victorians within the metonymies. As it was written within the 19th century it reflects the Victorians feelings and what state they were in at the time. I hope this essay has helped you understand how the Red Room reflects the conventions of the Gothic Horror genre and understand how they reflect the genre conventions. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jay Shukla 10K4 10/05/2007 - 1,341 Words ...read more.

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