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How is tension created and maintainer in the short stories: The Red Room - H.G. Wells; The Cone - H.G. Wells and The Signalman - Charles Dickens?

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Pre 1914 Short Story Essay How is tension created and maintainer in the short stories: The Red Room - H.G. Wells; The Cone - H.G. Wells and The Signalman - Charles Dickens? These short stories that I am writing about are called gothic mysteries. This is a type of gothic fiction that existed around the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century. Gothic mysteries usually have unusual settings, for example an isolated castle, near the railway etc. Gothic mysteries type stories would have emphasised mystery and horror. Most gothic stories have certain features such as darkness, suspense and the use of colour red. The atmosphere and themes of gothic fiction stories is usually awkward, tense and the writer usually uses omniscient narrator to keep the tension and suspense going throughout the story. The stories that I am going to analyse in this essay are The Red Room - H.G. Wells; The Cone - H.G. Wells and The Signalman - Charles Dickens. The Red Room is about a young man who goes in a castle that is supposed to be haunted. He meets three old, weird people and goes into the search of the Red Room. In the room he finds more then he can handle. ...read more.


This creates a bit of tension as to why he is looking in the opposite direction when someone is calling him. There is also something about the signalman's speech. He appears hesitant in speaking to the narrator, "singular air of reluctance" and "daunted me". We don't know exactly what the problem is until we get further into the story and embark on the spectre bit of the story. The way that the narrating of the story keeps the tension going is after the three old people have said the they believe that the house is haunted the writer doesn't give us the answer straight away he keeps us guessing until the very end. The description of the narrator's journey to the red room also extends the tension as the walk to the room take a whole page in the book. The way this makes tension is it keeps the question on our mind of whether the house is haunted and describes the location in great detail, long dark passages, the shadows and the sound add to the suspense and the tension. Once the narrator enters the room even more tension is created from his need for security when he grabs his revolver, because if he is scared this means that there is something to be afraid of, but what? ...read more.


The ending of red room isn't as creative as the story it self. At the end we find out that the room is haunted by fear and that's it, it isn't elaborated on its just left like that. A woman and a great sin are mentioned, but no questions are answered full and the story doesn't have and ending hat finishes it off. In the cone the omniscient narrator finally catches up with Horrocks when he kills Raut. We find out that he is remorseful and regrets killing Rout. We also find out what Horrocks knew. This story unlike the red room is finished off. In the signalman at the end the signalman kills himself, and we find out that the ghost was warning him. So it does answer couple of our questions. Since this essay is about gothic fiction/mystery in my opinion the best story is the red room as it leave a lot of the questions to our imagination and lets us draw our own conclusions. Again the similarities remain between the cone and red room as they are written by the same author and the biggest differences are between the signalman and the red room as they are two opposite styles of writing although the story line isn't all that different. Pre 1914 Short Stories 10 c2 ...read more.

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