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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad 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 Joseph Conrad essays

  1. Heart of Darkness. Discuss the variety of ways in which the title of ...

    The Congo River is an important 'darkness' in the book. What Marlow sees on the map, 'a mighty big river...resembling an immense snake uncoiled', is exactly how he imagines it would be when he arrives in Africa. Conrad's description of the Congo river focuses on the 'trees, millions of trees'

  2. Comparing "The Darkness Out There" by Penelope Lively, with "The Black Veil" by Charles ...

    The main character in "The Black Veil" is the young doctor and Sandra in "The Darkness Out There". Both are similar in the fact that they are both young, changed after their discoveries, and are of a high class. Both are focussed on at the start of each story until

  1. How do the authors of the two novels 'Broken April' and 'The Thief and ...

    Fear has set into his mind. Mahfouz tries to portray this feeling by using dark images repeatedly. The line 'walking into the open darkness, he looked cautiously around him...he must not underestimate his enemies'3 show that Said was scared to walk alone on the roads because he feared that his enemies wanted to kill him.

  2. Discuss The Title Of Conrad's Novel 'Heart Of Darkness'.

    He makes use immediately of cynical irony in "a mournful gloom brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth." The "greatest, town on earth" again highlights Britain's view as this being the centre of the civilised world, but this contrasts with "mournful" and "brooding", which suggests that

  1. Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad uses very strong imagery of evil throughout the story when he describes the Congo with an extreme vibe of negativity and evil running the length of the Congo River. In this extract, everything around has satanic references. The boat is the "fierce river-demon...

  2. Compare how two authors use the elements of a ghost story in 'The Old ...

    Together they try to lure a young girl called 'Miss Rosamond' to her death. 'The Darkness Out There' was written post World War 2, during the time when people were very xenophobic. This explains the behaviour of two characters, (Mrs Rutter and her sister).

  1. Consider How Deceptive Appearance and Reality is a Theme in “The Darkness Out There” ...

    Even Kerry, who we would expect to act tough and boisterous, is shocked: The boy's spoon clattered to the floor; he did not move. This could also show that he is deeply intrigued by the old ladies story. Over quite a short period of time, their thoughts of Mrs.

  2. Heart of Darkness

    This is the beginning of Conrad's applied theme of isolation as he describes Marlow as not fitting in with the other characters in this scene. Conrad applies this theme to many other scenes in the novel.

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