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Discuss the techniques through which H.G Wells communicates tension in "The Red Room".

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Discuss the techniques through which H.G Wells communicates tension in "The Red Room" The title "The Red Room" immediately gives a sense of danger, because we associate red with warning and danger. This quickly creates a feeling that the room is dangerous. This attracts our attention because we want to know why the room is red and if it is dangerous. The writer starts the story with the reader immediately in on the scene, there is no introduction, but we do meet all the characters, though their names are never mentioned. We meet a young man, who is to stay in the Red Room, an old women and two old men. From the first line we get the idea that there is a ghost in the room "I can assure you' said I 'that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me". This also tells us that the man is not scared by ghosts or such things. The story is straight to the point as to keep the reader involved and interested. The younger man does not seem to have a problem with going into the Red Room but the old lady and two old men are convinced there is something in the Red room and will not go in as they are obviously scared. ...read more.


Although the man knows there is nothing there he still becomes taken in by the blackness of the whole castle. Still we have not actually seen or heard that anything is there. As the man continues down the corridor he becomes more and more aware of the shadows around him. This shows that the darkness is more frightening than being able to see what is going on around and knowing what is there. Tension is also built by how the young man expresses his feelings. To try and conquer his fear of the unknown the man places a candle in the corner where he fears there is something "I walked into it, and satisfied myself that there was nothing tangible there." Here he refers back to the first line about tangible ghosts. More tension is built as the man begins to talk to himself. He listens to the eerie echoes and becomes more frightened than before. In the Red Room the tension is building all the time, the man is getting more nervous and putting more candles out to try to reassure himself. ...read more.


As the shadows get nearer the man he becomes further away from the truth that was going with the light. The warmth of the fire seems to ward off the evil, but when it goes out the man thinks that evil can reach him. As the man is rushing around trying to keep up with the candles going out panic is building. The use of short, sharp expressions in this part of the story highlights the tension in the room even more. "I dashed at the alcove, then into the corner, and then in to the window". The mans downward fall comes when he hits his thigh on the table, here he loses control. This point seems to be the tension climax of the story. The tension seems to unwind after the climax, the man wakes up out of the room with the elderly people around him. There was nothing really in the room the man only thought there was. The red room builds its own tension. The only reason the man became scared was because he believed there was something in the room. The mans fear took over and the only reason he thought there was something in the room was because he had been told there was. ...read more.

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