• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9

How do the writers of 'The Red Room' and 'The Whole Town's Sleeping' create tension in their stories?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework: Wider Reading By Devesh Amar How do the writers of 'The Red Room' and 'The Whole Town's Sleeping' create tension in their stories? Many things create fear. Loneliness, isolation, the supernatural, and darkness are just a few of the major causes. All of these are branches of one thing, the unknown; the absence of knowledge or the denial of what may happen. No one has done everything and nor does anyone know everything. But most importantly, no single individual can explain everything because many things are out of their control and just cannot be rationalised. This leads to the imagination of an individual presuming what the unknown object is, leading to an increase in the creation of feelings making him/her more vulnerable. There are some people who worry about their fears and some who ignore them, in the process paying the price for their ignorance. H G Wells and Ray Bradbury have both expressed these messages in the form of their protagonists in their stories ''The Red Room'' and ''The Whole Town's Sleeping'' respectively. ''The Red Room'' was written in 1896 by then young scientist H G Wells. Its genre is horror. It draws on elements of gothic literature, a specific type of horror that is based on darkness and ghosts. It has glances of supernatural elements and has a very old, traditional and ancient setting; all of these elements are of gothic literature. In this text, the protagonist is in the form of a young man aged twenty-eight, who is a typical Victorian of his time. The first sentence of the text that is "'I can assure you,' said I, 'that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.'" itself shows his arrogance and how he wants to rationalise everything. This is ironic, as the outcome of the story shows us that it wasn't even a ghost that scared him, but it was the unknown and indescribable that created fear in him. ...read more.

Middle

The old woman also says that she would be in with her gun, this is also typical of he 1950's when women began to move ahead in society and began to establish themselves in the working class. This conversation links with the H G Well's story, as again the wisdom of the aged is advising the rather ignorant, younger generation and also because in both texts, the characters have a trust in technology. In "The Whole Town's Sleeping", the old woman holds a gun to protect her from the Lonely One and in "The Red Room", the young man "held his revolver" showing how he uses the weapon to assure him safety. This symbolises violence, which in turn leads to conflict and tension. A very sensual bit of imagery is used in the beginning, which also acts as a precursor- "The heat pulsed under your dress and along your dress and along your legs with a stealthy sense of invasion." This links to the Lonely One as it's as if he/she is creeping up behind his victim, set to attack. This imagery is very sensual and sexual, and links to a earlier piece of personification when Lavinia feels the "warm breath of the summer night". This again makes us feel as if someone were very close to her, and again gives clues pointing towards the Lonely One. In "The Red Room", there is a slow and definite progression in tension in this text, as the young man experiences a journey from arrogant self-assurance to irrational terror and then finally to awareness. They play around with the reader's emotions, and manipulate the rise and fall of the tension. A good example of this progression in this text is from his beginning attitude- "it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me", to his imagination leading him to insane measure of personifying the shadows -"the shadows I feared and fought against returned, and crept in upon me", to understanding and awareness in the end- "Their ...read more.

Conclusion

A very effective extract can be spotted when the young man is in the room- "my candle was a little tongue of light in its vastness, that failed to pierce the opposition end of the room, and left an ocean of mystery and suggestion beyond its island of light." The imagery in this extract suggests his increasing feelings of insecurity and vulnerability and his sense of danger. The effective juxtaposition of diction "little" with the "vastness" of the room and the darkness creates a sense of his incompetence. He feels out of his depth, which is a marked contrast to his earlier cynical and ignorant attitude. Darkness has been used as a metaphor for irrational fear throughout this text, and even in this phrase, you can see that the "mystery" is caused by the darkness itself. He is feeling isolated and abandoned in his little lighted area, which is equivalent to an island in between a vast ocean. He feels the same way as a shipwrecked person, who would be petrified and extremely anxious to know what lies around him. Almost the whole room is hidden under a blanket of darkness, and he fears the unknown part of it. "The Red Room" and "The Whole Town's Sleeping" were two stories in which two individuals, both preachers of their time, experienced a journey from ignorance, over-confident and flippant attitudes, to awareness and understanding. They both ask for trouble, but when facing it, they break down into totally different people, who are nervous, panicky, frightened, and eventually their imagination leads them to becoming crazy. The morals of both of these texts are that one should always take advice and not be so narrow-minded, and that nothing actually exists if one doesn't believe it exists. In H G Well's text, the young man personifies fear with the red room. He has had a fight with his fear and in the end his fear wins. For me, the red room symbolizes one's own fear. Nothing is actually in the room except what one believes is there. -1- ...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. How tension Is built Up in short stories

    "'I was doubtful,' he returned, 'whether I had seen you before.' This exclamation indirectly refers to a previous premonition in the life of the signalman, of him seeing the man he is talking to. "'What made you cry, "Halloa! Below there!"

  2. The Whole Towns Sleeping,” by Ray Bradbury and “A Terribly Strange Bed,” by Wilkie ...

    sentences and again in my opinion as a modern day reader I feel the length of these sentences lessens the impact that these sentences give. In the paragraph, Collins uses the one phrase three times, "never spoke." He uses this phrase after he describes each of the three characters.

  1. What is the effect of the juxtaposition of the ordinary and the extra-ordinary in ...

    more profound, like we are lucky to see the back of it because in its wake we are awarded with a 'stillness' which could also been seen as a word associated with healing.

  2. Compare The Red Room(TM) by HG wells and The Signalman(TM) by Charles Dickens examining ...

    Castles are usually cold and dark places so it adds to atmosphere of oppression and neglect. When the three custodians direct the narrator to the red room they give a long set of directions. "Along the passage...come to a door...a spiral staircase...a landing...another door...long corridor...up the steps."

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

    These show that they are disabled and have problems. They also speak in an unfriendly manner to the man and each other for example "the man with the withered arm gave this newcomer a short glance of dislike" and to the man he says" It's your own choosing".

  2. Pre 1914 Prose Fiction - Stories of Mystery

    Wells often refers to the creatures as 'monsters' 24 or 'beasts' 25 that are always 'dark' 26 or 'evil' 27; this in itself adds a feeling of tension, and is also very effective because the cephalopods are always described as being just out of sight and in the shadows, as

  1. How does the writer build up suspense and present the supernatural in 'The Red ...

    All of the characters except the "twenty-eight year old man" are all old with "decaying yellow teeth" or "withered" giving them a negative image adding to their mystery and making them more repellent. The author describes the old man as having "red eyes".

  2. The Red Room

    of death and "supernatural" has a winding tension to it, which I like most of all. In ' The Red Room' the language is exaggerates and has gothic words. There is alliteration on the letter 'd' in the phrase "deafens and darkness" which seems it is dramatic and daring.

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