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

Examining the way in which H G Wells has conveyed the element of fear in The Red Room.

Extracts from this document...


In the following essay, I will be examining the way in which H G Wells has conveyed the element of fear in The Red Room. In answering the question, I shall focus closely on certain points concerning fear and assess how successful the writer's methods in conveying this are. I will also, during the course of my essay, bid to include as many necessary quotations to help back up my points. The Red Room is a nineteenth century short story that examines the way that someone's life crosses with others' to dramatic effect. It is taken from the anthology of short stories "Telling Tales," that combines terrifying and sometimes mysterious tales. As an alternative to outlining the setting of the story, the writer chooses to open with a dialogue, directly between the narrator and a man with a withered arm. He is accompanied by an old woman with her eyes fixed on a fire and the later appearance of a man covered by a shade, described also as more bent, wrinkled and aged than the first person. The tone for a formidable and gloomy encounter is set when the narrator (also the protagonist of the piece) implies that "it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me." Contradicting the narrators positive state of mind, the man with the withered arm emphatically remarks that it is his own choosing, suggesting that he is not responsible for the narrator's intentions of entering a haunted room. ...read more.


His fears become increasingly critical when philosophising, "...one could well understand the legends that had sprouted in its black corners, its germinating darkness." Despite the candle remaining his biggest asset in consolidating his fears, however, not even that is powerful enough to help him see as far as the opposite side of the room as Wells points out on page four. The narrator continues his quest by systematically examining the place, "dispel the fanciful suggestions of its obscurity before they obtained a hold upon me" suggesting that the uncertainties were gradually defeating him, regardless of his efforts. He tries to ease his fears by tucking up the valances of the bed, opening the curtains wide, pulling up the blinds to examine the fastenings of several windows. He discovers two big mirrors; each with a pair of sconces bearing candles, which he lights one after the other. This symbolises that the dark was acting as a burden in easing his fears and that the candles' requirement was imminent, further clarified when he lights a fire to keep down any disposition to shiver. The narrator later admits that his examination of the room had done him good but he "still found the remoter darkness of the place, and its perfect stillness too stimulating for the imagination." This implies that his fears had been eased slightly despite his state of mind remaining in tatters. ...read more.


Ironic also to note because the effect the narrator's experience had on him was due to the build up of fear through the confusion of his surroundings. The entirety of his adventure was spent fighting off what his psychological state of mind suggested was a ghost or something disagreeable, despite it being fear all along causing him to react in the way he did. The narrator demands "There is neither ghost of earl nor ghost of countess in that room, there is no ghost there at all; but worse, far worse..." He then philosophises that it fear, the worst of all things that haunt poor mortal man, that is, in all its nakedness. This theory horrifies the audience and gives us a better overview of the narrator's emotions, which portray fear as an ultimate evil. It was fear that followed him through the corridor, fought against him in the room, not a ghost, or any living creature. The last few sentences find the story at its most profound and shocking as the writer expresses his feelings to us once more. "You can feel it even in the daytime, even of a bright summer's day, in the hangings, in the curtains, keeping behind you however you face it. In the dusk it creeps along the corridor and follows you, so you dare not turn." This clarifies the narrator's frustrations and improbability of his situation, as he is unable to defeat or do much about overturning the fate of his predicament. ...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 H.G. Wells 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 H.G. Wells essays

  1. Comparing Two Horror Short Stories - 'The Monkey's Paw' written by W. W. Jacobs ...

    This makes the reader a little nervous as the word 'magic' was mentioned before and makes them a little scared because it suggests that something terrifying is going to happen soon. 'It had spell put on it by an old fakir.'

  2. Examine the ways in which fear and tension are built up by the writers ...

    The narrator's thoughts are very clearly shown through out the story, as it is written in the first person so we know what he is thinking and how his fear is building. One of the first major signs of the man weakening is when he has to check the room

  1. The Red Room and The Monkey's Paw(Compare and Contrast)

    This tells the reader that the sergeant, when he had wished, faced consequences for his wishes and that he warned the family about that they should be careful what they wish for. The man in "The Red Room" is similar to the family in The Monkey's Paw because they are

  2. Compare and contrast - 'The red room' by HG Wells, 'The Black Cottage' By ...

    Almost immediately after, two men strayed into the kitchen. It mentions that one of the men may have been looking at the bookcase... 'I distrusted him, and I managed to get between his leering eyes and the bookcase'; this suggests that the man may have clocked onto the pocket book behind the glass door.

  1. The Red Room Examination

    What is it she is afraid of? The obvious conclusion for the audience would be to draw a connection between her staring into the fire, and the dialogue concerning ghosts which follows this description, and therefore believe that she is honestly scared of ghosts.

  2. How does the Red Ball show an unhappy relationship between parents and child? In ...

    Thirdly, the example of how Khan shows the unhappy relationship in the Bolan's family is through the choice of theme. One such example is that the crime and punishment that Bolan is having is unfair. When he goes to the "Market School", he could not hear what the teacher is saying.

  1. Narrative poetry is much more than a series of interesting tales. Do you agree? ...

    The illuminating moon is another key ingredient in showing the light/dark contrast and setting an unusual scene in the poem. The horse's champing the grass magnifies the unbearable isolation of the night when everything is silent but the silence will be a large contrast with the traveller as his travels may have been noisy.

  2. Bradbury and Wells Both Try to Show 'Fear' in Their Story. How Do They ...

    Lavinia took no notice of these rumours and still goes out to watch the film with Francine. They watched the film and on the way home they went into a chemist where the "druggist" was talking to Lavinia. Lavinia told him where she left having no clue that he might be the Lonely One.

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