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How does H.G.Wells create a sense of fear in The Red Room?

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Introduction

TheRedRoom How does H.G.Wells create a sense of fear in The Red Room? H.G.Wells uses a variety of techniques to make the reader feel scared. The narrative voice, the character, setting and the language of the story all add to the fear. The story itself does not have a plot. We do not know how this man got there, or why. We do no know his name or the names of the three old people. Just like the reader does not know what the man is afraid of. The title of the story alone gives the reader the impression that this is not a funny story, but a dangerous, scary one. Red suggests danger and urgency. By saying "The Red Room" instead of "A Red Room" tells the reader that it is not a story about just any room, it is the story of the dangerous room. 'The Red Room' is a descendant of the gothic horror stories of the late 18th and 19th century. ...read more.

Middle

The old lady thinks it is "the poor young countess who was frightened". The man with the withered arm thinks it is the "old earl", and finally the man whose eyes are under a shade, knew it was Fear. The fear in the story is characterized as a shadow, darkness and terror. This idea plays on our primitive anxieties about darkness and the unseen. Throughout the story, there is a strong sense of mystery. There are so many aspects of the story that are unidentified. The reader does not know the names of the characters, the plot of the story, who or what is haunting the room or what makes the candles go off. All of this ambiguity creates more fear for the reader. It is one thing to be scared of a big monster, who can be controlled, and quite another to be terrified of a shapeless, nameless, unseen spirit. This unidentified shadow scares the man. ...read more.

Conclusion

The story is set at night. Night time is always more frightening than day. At night it is when predators go out to hunt, it is when there is no light, and when everyone is asleep. Night time is a classic time to set a story. It is linked with creatures such as werewolves and vampires. It is no surprise that H.G.Wells chose to set his story at night. This is a standard gothic element that is present in Frankenstein and Dracula, two of the earliest examples of gothic horror. After reading this story, I see that the greatest method H.G.Wells used to create fear is the unknown. When the reader does not know, they do not know what to expect, and therefore think up their own version of the worst that could happen. In 'The Red Room' nothing really attacks the man, nothing comes out of the darkness, it is just because he does not know what is going to happen, does not know what to expect that he becomes afraid, and starts hurting himself trying to keep the room alight. ...read more.

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