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How does H.G Wells create and sustain suspense throughout "The Red Room"?

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Melissa Gibbs/ English Coursework. How does H.G Wells creates and sustains suspense throughout "The Red Room"? The title "The Red Room" attracts the reader's attention straight away, as it is symbolic but leaves questions that you cannot answer yourself such as, what is the red room? , Why is it red? Red is sometimes thought of as fear and even danger. The title leaves a lot of curiosity to the reader, and may make them want to read it and answer their questions. The author has to make the reader keep reading the story and keep them interested. To do this, things such as tension should be used. The tension should sometimes be maintained throughout the whole story, so the reader wants to know what's going to happen, but it can also stop for a while, and then be built it up again to surprise the reader. By adding more tension, little by little, the story gets tenser but the reader is also reminded of the excitement as they are released from the tension sometimes. In a short story, the reader will be able to have a strong influence from the writer's first and last lines. This makes them very important and they are well thought out. ...read more.


A short story uses its location, characters, and setting in time and language. These are the parts that tie it together and make the story complete. In this story, the location is very important. The story is set in a castle. A ghost story in a castle is not a new idea and although it is an unoriginal place, it is appropriate. The old people who have the place cannot use most of it to live in because they are afraid of the 'Red Room'. This keeps them well away from that room in the castle. A castle is full of rooms, corridors and stairs. As the story continues, the young man explores the castle on his journey to the red room. On his way to the red room, he comes across what looks like a ghost in front of him, but he finds out it was only an ornament of a Chinaman on a table. Then as he approaches the door to the red room, the tension builds and he enters very quickly closing the door behind him. He finds himself in a huge red walled room. As he searches the room, the tension falls to give the reader a pause and maybe a time relax before the next part. ...read more.


"Shadows seemed to take another step towards me." The light means the truth. Without light, there is no truth. If the light goes out he has no way of finding out what is in the red room. The darkness creates the tension and fear. In light, we can see but when it is dark we cannot see and therefore tension and fear is all around him. When the man says that the shadows take another step towards him, he is saying that fiction is creeping up on him, and as it does, he forgets the truth. In the story, the man has a revolver. This means violence, which could build tension, as people could think he could lash out at any moment, and surprise the reader. As the story comes to an end, sentences become shorter, which means the man is scared, and doesn't know what to do. He hits his leg on the table, and this makes him even more scared and begins his downfall. From this part of the story onwards he loses control. He runs into something and knocks himself out. Then there is a gap in time, which leads to the fall of tension. He wakes up the next morning after being rescued in the morning by the old people. Fear is personified with the Red Room. The Red Room shows someone's fears, and it shows that they aren't really there like in the Red Room. ...read more.

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