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

How characteristic are 'The Red Room' and 'The Judge's House' of nineteenth century ghost stories?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Characteristics are 'The Red Room' and 'The Judge's House' Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories? Nineteenth century ghost stories are typical of the gothic genre. They are referred to as stereotypical, because in the period they were written in, it was the practice to include several distinctive elements which are now exclusively associated with this genre. 'The Red Room' by H. G. Wells (1894) and 'The Judge's House' by Bram Stoker (1891) will be discussed in this essay to assess them as distinctive examples of ghost stories. There are various elements which are distinctive of characteristics of a nineteenth century ghost story. The criteria used to determine 'The Red Room' and 'The Judge's House' are of nineteenth century ghost stories in this essay are, firstly, the setting. This is the background scenery to the story and is, typically of this genre, an isolated place or house. The second element is the inclusion of characters with a variable state of mind throughout the story. This could be a terrifying consuming fear or the complete loss of reason leading to insanity. The incorporation of characters which believe and do not believe in the supernatural is the third element. This allows a wider range of people to read the story and associate with the characters. ...read more.

Middle

The cold plays a role in most ghost stories of any age. The cold adds a sense of foreboding, giving you the feeling something bad could happen. The author also writes a form of personification, 'the shadows cower and quiver.' This gives you the image in your mind that the shadows are alive and sacred. This is also could give the image, that these are the shadows of the souls that died in the red room. On his way to the red room his mind starts to play tricks on him, either to comfort him or to scare him. 'Listening to a rustling that I fancied I heard', but there is, 'absolute silence'. This shows his mind is playing tricks on him. He is hearing rustling when it is silent. There are more effects to the narrator's state of mind. He thinks some objects are alive. 'A bronze group...gave me the impression of someone crouching to waylay me.' To him the bronze group is alive and wants to attack him in the darkness. The narrator is confident at the start of the story but has doubt building up in him, so he starts to examine the room. 'I pulled up the blinds and examined the fastenings of the several windows'. This shows that the windows are fastened shut and you may not be able to get in or out. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is a disbeliever in the supernatural and dismisses all the warnings. The narrator's opening line is, 'I can assure you that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me'. This makes him seem both proud and sceptical to the reader. The reader will also, knowing this is a ghost story, assume the narrator will change his attitude during the story because of a supernatural event. This change of perception in such a rational character will change the perception of a reader in a similar way. The descriptions of the custodians show that not only they believe in the red room, but the red room has affected them in such a way, that they are supernatural. To show that they believe in the supernatural, there is repetition of, 'it's your own choosing', and, 'this night of all nights'. This also gives a sense of foreboding. The old lady also says, 'you go alone'. In a way they are trying to make him not go to the red room. But, when they realise they can't stop him, the 'man with the withered arm' decides to give him a drink. This might help him not be afraid or make him more afraid of the red room. The focus on the eyes and their description makes you think they are supernatural. The eyes of the second old man are shown as, 'small and bright and inflamed', plus, 'red eyes'. This gives the sense of you being watched. ...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. The red room, the stollen bacillus and the inexperienced ghost

    Overall the old people ironically still helped the petrified narrator recover by taking him outside, bandaged him up and 'pouring out some drops of medicine', despite the way they had been treated. Another example of the use of irony used in the Red Room is that the narrator repeats that

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

    foolish and underestimate the power of the legends and that they both suffer because of their doubt of their legends and the story that relies more heavily on the plot is "The Red Room" because it makes the reader believe that something bad is going to happen in the room

  1. Karenia brevis: Ecological Effects of Red Tide

    "Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning" in humans can lead to severe gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms. The primary organisms affected by red tide are fish, but in severe cases their have been mortalities of turtles, birds, bottlenose dolphins, whales, and manatees (JSTOR, 717-720).

  2. Pre 1914 Prose Fiction - Stories of Mystery

    Would they harm us? Wells utilises this fear well in this story to, in some ways, compare the intelligent cephalopods to Martians; both came unwanted, and both were menaces that would easily kill human beings. Therefore we can see the influence that this fear had upon Wells during the nineteenth

  1. The Red Room

    He made 'a frantic effort to keep my footing and then I remember no more.' This cyclic structure creates tension throughout the story. In the Cask of Amontillado the setting is 'damp' and 'the drops of moisture trickle among the bones.'

  2. What are the important characteristics of an effective ghost story?

    of those missing at sea' which leads on to Singlebury saying that the disappointment had 'permeated the building like a corrosive gas'. It also uses words such as 'disappointment', 'morbid', death', 'vanished' and 'damp'. Each story has strong main 'narrator' characters, all of which are actually in first person.

  1. To what extent is ' The Red Room' a typical ghost story?

    Deep toned old fashioned furniture." This seems like a typical setting for a ghost story. A creaking door is very common in ghost stories and the ' distorting mirror' makes us imagine weird shapes. It doesn't seem normal and the tension continues to grow further at this point of the story.

  2. How typical of Victorian ghost stories is 'The Red Room'?

    Castles are generally large, dark place, and the reader knows the Red Room to be situated in a castle like this, as the narrator is given a rather long list of directions before he encounters the Red Room. The passageways almost seem to lead him underground, so far into isolation

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