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How does H.G Wells use language, character and setting to build tension and fear in the short story "The Red Room".

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Introduction

How does H.G Wells use language, character and setting to build tension and fear in the short story "The Red Room" In this essay I am going to show how H.G Wells uses language, character and setting to build tension and fear. "The Red Room" was appealing to the Victorians as it was indeed quite a short story, Reading a story in less than say an hour gave them a great sense of achievement as they started and finished quite quickly. Though reading and understanding the plot and essence of the story they would be able to hold an intellectual conversation about a book or author and maybe use some of the skills such as personification and similes in there own works of poetry and general everyday speech. We now know that the Victorians were quite dramatic in everyway shape and form, maybe this is they got there melodramatic personalities from. A gothic genre is a type of romantic fiction that pre dominated in English literature in the last 3rd of the 18th centaury and the 1st to decades of the 19th centaury, the setting for which was usually a rewind castle or abbey. The gothic novel or gothic romance, emphasised mystery and horror and was filled with ghost-haunted rooms and underground passages Wells was born on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent, the son of a professional cricketer and a domestic servant. ...read more.

Middle

The story also contains several other gothic features the door is said to have "creaked on its hinges" To me this suggests that the castle was very disused, the word "creaked" to me make me think of pain, If the door creaked it means that the person opening the door must have done so gently being cautious not to disturbed anything that the mind plants in our own heads. When we read this unconsciously we make note of it and the brain remembers all these feelings. The place is lit by "candles" this also is subconsciously taken in by the brain, when we think of candle light we realise that it is neither bright nor dark it is dim, not everything is showing so there we get the fear of the unknown. A "spiral staircase is also mentioned" The Victorians when very interested and taken in by the tight of life after death and the supernatural. We notice that everything Wells talks about to describe the house is rough this is intended to make us feel unsure about what is to happen next. It works. The old people in the short story are typically gothic we no this with the words used to describe them "withered" and "decaying" are good examples. They cause immediate discomfort to the narrator. The old people new give a straight answer they always tell him part of the answer and leave his mind to work out the rest this ...read more.

Conclusion

Here the writer uses are knowledge of fear and darkness to create a better picture in our heads from a reader's point of view. The effect of the setting in the story is everything with out it there would be no story; from the very first line we can tell that this is not an ordinary house. The build up of the setting is the backbone it never cools of the sense of fear and unknown are always there through out the story. The gloominess suggested by the cold and damp contribute to the tension in this story. I believe that fear is a reaction to what is happening arrowed you. If you're scared you often need someone to blame and so the mind creates ghost you can blame things on them. I do not believe there was anything in the room downstairs the narrator head had been planted with little thoughts that grew when he arrived in the room. When it's quite and you're on your own in a big room that you don't know you start to scare your self. I conclude that this story manages to created tension by using character and setting to capture the reader. The way Wells describe the old people and the walk to the room worked very well in making me as I read it want to no more about everything surrounding the house. My final though is I wish it was not a short story as is left me wanting to no more. ...read more.

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