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How Does the Author of The Red Room create tension in his writing?

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Lauren Fernandez How Does the Author of The Red Room create tension in his writing? The Red Room was written in the late 19th century by H.G Wells. During this time the gothic genre was incredibly popular with every type of person as it was a great form of entertainment due to the fact they didn't have a television or a computer back then. The gothic genre started becoming most popular in 1837 and continuing untill 1901 during the Victorian period, they appeared in magazines as short,cliffhanger ending,eerie stories. The most famous examples of gothic stories are "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly and "Dracula" by Bram Stoker which most people have heard of. The Red Room is a prime example of a gothic story. It shows typical characteristics that would be included in a story of the gothic genre. Even the title of the book "The Red Room" has a certain darkness about it. "The" makes it sound unique as though there is only one red room which sounds very different to saying "a" red room and by chosing to do this there is a sense of weirdness before the book has even been read. "Red" makes us think of blood, anger and evil. There is also alliteration in the title with the hard sounding "r" . The story starts off with a rainy, gloomy,candle light or fire light setting, very typical opening features of a story written in the gothic genre. ...read more.


" chilly echo-ing passage" which helps the reader really imagine what the way to the red room was like as it appeals to the sound and feel of it. There is also a change in the narrators frame of mind at this point as he starts to become weary of the old people as he admits that he found them odd, this shows the reader that he is not so brave as he thought he was and as we imagined him to be. When the narrator describes the passageway and staircase up to the red room we really begin to see the gothic genre coming into the story as the eliments of light and dark are introduced. The tension goes up here as he mentions, candle light, moonlight, witches, omens, shadows, ghosts and spiritual things. At this point the narrator becomes scared. The alliteration of the letter s on " spiral staircase and a shadow came sweeping" almost sounds like a snake or eerie wispers also creating tension. He starts to say what he is doing step by step, this creates an effect that makes the reader feel as though they are there with him as he walks up the staircase to the red room. The elements of light and dark are used to make light seem like the ultimate comfort , this is a very common characteristic of a gothic genre story. ...read more.


He even barricades the door to make the room feel safer so he must have a very nervous and edgy frame of mind right now which is almost the complete opposite to his arrogent and cocky frame of mind at the start of the story. He is almost parranoid at this point as though he is sensing things that might not even be happening. Alliteration is also used to create tension for example "fires flickering" personifies the fire making them seem as though they have a mind of their own and they are out to get the narrator. The ending of the story tells the reader that there was nothing in the red room, all that time the reader was convinced that there was some sort of ghost or spirit present at the time so because you find this out the tension level goes down. The tension also increases as the old man describes how fear is what he discovered in the red room describing it as "a power of darkness". This spooks the reader. H.G Wells, the author of "The Red Room" has used certain writing techniques in order to create and build up tension in his story. Techniques such as imagery, alliteration, repitition, choice of language and punctuation in order to create a tension build up or decrease. I think the story is a typical one of the gothic genre as it explores each idea of being trapped , darkness and fear very well. ...read more.

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