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I am now going to compare and contrast two ghost stories. 'The Red Room', a 19th century ghost story by H.G.Wells and 'Farthing House', a 20th century ghost story by Susan Hill.

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Introduction

The purpose of a ghost story is to make the reader scared or uneasy. In traditional ghost stories, I would expect several occurrences throughout. An isolated, decrepit old house or mansion would be the setting of the story, usually at night. The architecture and d�cor would probably be of a gothic style. The front door would be daunting and showing signs of disrepair. It also will be very creaky when opened. The ghosts themselves are usually people who have died a tragic death or have been involved in magic or the occult. An atmosphere of foreboding would be brought upon the location by mist or fog crawling over the ground, and the wind howling fiercely. Candles would be used for lighting, and would blow out before significant parts of the story. The author of the story would describe the ceilings as high, the gates being imposing and the corridors long. All of these descriptions would make the characters seem small compared to the sprits in the house. ...read more.

Middle

One example of this is, "I have never told any of this to you before - I have never told anyone, and indeed, writing it down and sealing it in an envelope to be read at some future date may still not count as 'telling'." Also with the narration of 'Farthing House', Susan Hill mentions another author, Jane Austin, which makes the story seem more like a letter, as another book was mentioned. The setting in all ghost stories is important, as ghost stories have been typified to have a mysterious, isolated building as the setting. Using buildings that have a history of death and have been unoccupied for many years are usually what authors choose for the setting of a ghost story. In 'The Red Room' and 'Farthing House', there is no exception to this. The setting in 'Farthing House' is a residential home for elderly people. The house that occupies the old people is down a long country road, isolated from the road. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their existence was spectral; the cut of their clothing, fashions born in dead brains." This leaves a sense of suspicion. One of the custodians had a withered arm, which makes you wonder what had happened to him. These characters are unlikable and reasonably unfriendly. By contrast, in 'Farthing House', the housekeeper is a friendly person as she welcomes the protagonist into the house and tries to make her feel comfortable. But she also behaves strangely: 'It's a lovely room' she said with hesitation, implying that she is worried about the room. This makes the reader predict that strange happenings are not far away. In The Red Room, the language is archaic and elaborate. It is very descriptive and creates tension. "it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me." In Farthing House, the language used is modern, everyday language. All in all, the ghost story I preferred was The Red Room, as it was more traditional and was directly wrote as a story, whereas Farthing House was wrote as a letter. ...read more.

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