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How does H.G. Wells create atmosphere and build up the tension in "The Red Room".In "The Red Room" H.G. Wells bases his short story on aspects of Gothic fiction

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Pre 1914 Prose "The Red Room"- H.G. Wells How does H.G. Wells create atmosphere and build up the tension in "The Red Room". In "The Red Room" H.G. Wells bases his short story on aspects of Gothic fiction, however this type of fiction was popular between 1760-1820. This story includes mystery, horror, cruelty, spiral staircases and long corridors that are all elements of Gothic fiction. Wells borrows characteristics from this genre and uses many techniques to create atmosphere and build up the tension in "The Red Room". In the opening of "The Red Room", we are suddenly thrown into conversation and it is very abrupt, "I can assure you." H.G. Wells does this to make us read into the conversation and the word "ghost" in the first line grabs our attention. The story is written in first person, this helps to experience the story in a different way to if a narrator was telling the story. We only witness what the protagonist thinks, feels and witnesses. Throughout the story it adds to the air of mystery because we only know what the protagonist knows, so we get his first hand experience H.G. ...read more.


These characters are typical of Gothic fiction and help set the scene for this short story. H.G. Wells uses many Gothic images to set the archaic scene of the castle. Phrases such as "the door creaked on its hinges", "a spiral staircase", "draughty subterranean passage" and "silvery illumination" are all typical of Gothic fiction. Everything from the ornaments to the furniture seem to come from a different era. The ornaments are described as "ghostly" and makes the protagonist think of "vanished men". H.G. Wells uses these vivid descriptions to scare and give the reader an eerie feeling in order to create the atmosphere of the short story. In "The Red Room", archaic language is used such as "said I", "eight and twenty years" and "on the yesterday". This language is used to give the story an archaic ambience. The language is also very horrific and grotesque, words and phrases such as "fashions born in dead brains", "stifling", "haunt", "creeps" and "darkens". These are used to make the story dramatically frightening got the reader. Throughout the story, the air of mystery builds up the tension in "The Red Room". ...read more.


He personifies the shadows to an extent that makes them seem like they are another character in the story. Actions that the shadows are capable of are "mocked", "came sweeping up", "fled" and "closed upon me". H.G. Wells does this to oblige the shadows to overpower the protagonist. He describes the real room vividly, "recesses and alcoves", "sprouted", and "germinating darkness". Here he personifies the room and its "legends", saying that they are like plants sprouting in its "black corners". He does this to emphasise the darkness and how it is obtaining a hold upon the protagonist. More personification is used to intensify the stories such "flames were dancing". This is used because the flames from the fire seemed to be the last ray of hope for the protagonist in the red room. Darkness is then personified again, "wrapped about me in a stifling embrace", to emphasise his loss of assurance Wells uses various techniques when the protagonist is inside the red room. He describes being inside the room like "a ragged storm-cloud sweeping out the stars", here Wells uses alliteration and a simile to emphasise the panic that the protagonist is starting to have and the fact that darkness is closing up on him. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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