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How does H.G Wells use language and other devices to create suspense?

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Introduction

Question - How does Wells use language and other devices to create suspense? The Red Room is a Classic Gothic novel by the author H.G Wells and was written in the year 1896. In The Red Room H.G Wells uses a wide variety of language and devices, which are typical of the Gothic genre to create suspense for the reader. The story is set in an old Gothic style castle which is looked after by three old custodians. Even before the story begins H.G Wells deliberately uses the title to spark connotations in the readers mind. `The' which is the definite article tells the reader that this particular Red Room is no ordinary room and that there is something unique about it. The colour `Red' in the Gothic era co notates the idea of mentally deranged people. This is because a `Red Room' is where these such people would go. This then injects ideas into the reader that strange and mysterious things may happen in this `Red Room' by the use of the colour `Red'. Modern day connotations of the word `Red' include blood, murder suffering and evil. This suggests to the reader that something strange and mysterious may happen in `The Red Room' because of the colour `Red'. ...read more.

Middle

From this line the reader can see that the narrator is cocky and overconfident towards his elders for the time being. Another example of the narrators overconfidence is ` abbreviated and broadened to an impossible sturdiness' Here the narrator indirectly says that he is superman by saying that he has been abbreviated and broadened to an impossible sturdiness, when in reality he is not. The mirror reflects how the narrator sees himself rather than reality. This confirms that the narrator is being rather cocky and overconfident and slightly arrogant. The narrators morale level plays a prominent role in making the story suspenseful. At the beginning of the story the narrator is feeling very confident and being rather arrogant with himself. But as the story progresses we can see this overconfidence gradually slip away. When the narrator is in the `Red Room` things start to go wrong. The candles are being extinguished without a obvious cause, and the shadows are growing larger. ` the flame vanished, as if the wicks had been suddenly nipped between a finger and thumb' We know that this sort of activity is making the narrator scared because of his reaction to the candles being put out. For example the narrator says " what's up" I cried with a queer high note. ...read more.

Conclusion

The words `and then' are also repeated to emphasize lots of separate actions in a short period of time. This in turn builds up the suspense because of what may happen as a result of his actions. He could re-light all the candles and feel safe or he could not re-light the candles and be in complete darkness. H.G Wells also uses short sentences and clauses to create suspense. For example ` I was about to advance, and then stopped abruptly' This sentence gives the reader the impression that the narrator has gone to do something, but then something has caught his and so he then stops suddenly. The word `abruptly' con notates the idea that an action has been stopped suddenly and maybe without warning. Its this sort of sentences which create suspense by making the reader want to read on inquisitively and found out what has caused the narrator to do this. In answer to the question H.G Wells uses a wide variety of linguistic devices such as adjectives ,1st person and poetic devices such as personification to create suspense. The way in which the story is written also makes the story suspenseful by varying the sentence structure. H.G Wells uses all these things to effectively to create and exciting and suspenseful story called The Red Room. By Sam Hall 2nd draft ...read more.

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