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In "The Red Room" by H.G.Wells, how does the author build the tension and anxieties surrounding the experience of staying in the room?

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Introduction

THE RED ROOM Question: In "The Red Room" by H.G.Wells, how does the author build the tension and anxieties surrounding the experience of staying in the room? The whole story of "The Red Room" is written in first-person so that what ever the narrators witnessing, the reader witnesses too. Fear is the basis of the story as we find out at the end. The start of the story is sets a gothic scene by having very strange people by a warm fire, "The man with the withered arm," "The old woman" & "The man covered by a shade." These characters all create a sense of uneasiness about them. One character is known all the way through as "The man with the shade," This adds mystery, fear and confusion to the reader. We do not know the names of any of the characters so that there are questions unanswered from the start. This creates confusion and builds up the mysterious atmosphere. ...read more.

Middle

"The spiral staircase" may also tell him to try and go back because it makes the reader think that it goes on for ever. The narrator takes candles with him so he is prepared to see danger. He also takes his "Revolver" which suggests that he is beginning to feel scared and he needs its protection because he may feel that he will encounter something that he may want to. As the narrator enters the room he begins to feel a strange presences and starts to check the room "systematically". He examines everything in order so he makes sure that he does it miss anything out, this shows that he has a lot of anxiety yet approaches that anxiety with a logical mind. The "recesses" and "alcoves" are used to create tension because they may have secrets hidden within them which adds the mystery to the surrounding of the red room. The "candles" are mentioned as the "light" and the "ocean of mystery" as "dark." ...read more.

Conclusion

Each time they are re-lit; but they fail again "two candles in the remoter end of the window were eclipsed" The narrator's panic is palpable building to a climax where he hits his head and falls to the ground. He wakes up finding himself in bed with bandages on his head, he tells the old people about fear and how it effected his mind."The narrator explains to the old people that scared him. The author writes "Fear" with a capital F this is so it is personified and so it has more effect. This is effective because fear seems to take on a personality in itself suggesting it can work against you and have power over you. This is shown by the way in which the narrator reacts to the circumstances in the red room. Wells is effective in creating tension as we have to wait and find out what really frightened people about the red room. The ending might be seen as a little disappointing because in our 21st century we would rather see what lurks behind the darkness of our mind and our surroundings. ...read more.

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