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Discuss the Theme of ‘Darkness’ in ‘The Darkness Out There’ and ‘The Red Room’

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Introduction

Discuss the Theme of 'Darkness' in 'The Darkness Out There' and 'The Red Room' The word 'Darkness' as both very vague and very obscure in its description. Scientifically, it is the absence of light. In films, it is a catalyst for tension and suspense. It is associated with night, and thus with all the things that night brings to mind. It is long associated with evil, with demons and stalkers and monsters. The worst things move in the dark. Looking in a dictionary, the closest it comes to expressing this is 'dismal and gloomy'. Yet the word, and idea, of darkness plays a major part in both of the stories we are analysing. It even forms part of the title of one of the stories. Darkness, as it is used in both stories, is based in psychology. It is part of the world, but only when perceived through the darkness in us. Each of us has our own demons, our own particular darkness and this is what both stories, in essence, are about. 'The Darkness out there' looks at how two people react to the reality of life, the darkness inside other people and perhaps themselves. ...read more.

Middle

A lot of modern horror revolves not around 'scariness' but by subverting the ideas and things that are typically regarded as being unscary. This is the kind of idea shown in the Darkness Out There. By showing that the character Mrs. Rutter is certainly not how she originally appeared, the writer subverts the very ideas Sandra has about the world she lives in. In the final two paragraphs, it talks about how everything has changed, that nothing is really what it appears. 'The darkness was out there and it was part of you and you would never be without it, ever'. It talks about how the world has turned unreliable, that no matter how something looks on the outside, there is always the darkness lurking in there somewhere. 'The Darkness Out there' talks at length about the 'Darkness', but nowhere does it explore the nature of what it is. The Red Room, however, while not directly mentioning darkness, offers much greater insight into the nature of the darkness, and what it truly is. The Red Room is centred on a single, unnamed main character. His character, and the reasons why he comes to the house with the red room are left alone. ...read more.

Conclusion

The red room, and Packer's end, are both focal points for this fear. Through the way in which fear propagates, it serves to imbed itself deeper into our subconscious. The less we know about a situation, the more fear has a hold on us. The more vague the inferences about a place, a person, the more is left to the imagination, and that is where the fear creeps in. Both The Red Room and The Darkness Out There are based, at their root, in this fear. They deal with it in different ways, talk about it in different terms, but deep down it is still the same. It lies in every one of us, and is focussed by itself until it overwhelms us. We cannot explain it, and perhaps we never will, because once we do, we will have finally overcome it. It is by nature that which we cannot explain, what we do not know, the blind spot in our vision. It is irrational and illogical, but who knows what the world would be without it. Nicholas Clarke 'Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavour after a worthy manner of life' Bertrand Russell ...read more.

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