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Outline how HG Wells builds an atmosphere of tension and suspense in 'The Red Room.'

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PRATEEK BHANDARI 11C GCSE ENGLISH COURSEWORK- THE RED ROOM Outline how HG Wells builds an atmosphere of tension and suspense in 'Red Room.' Tension means 'the state or degree of being tense' and suspense means 'a state of anxious uncertainty.' What we see is that when we are suspicious, we are likely to be tensed and when we are tensed we are tend to be suspicious, so these two words have relativity. 'The Red Room' by HG Wells, straight away gives us the feeling that the plot of the story will be based on mysteriousness and things that we will not imagine but would actually happen for e.g. ghosts. Another major point about this title is that when we read it, we instantly get questions in our minds for e.g. 'what is the red room?' or 'why is it called the red room?' Short story writers, especially mystery and horror, have to keep the attention of their readers all through. In most of these texts, readers would have noticed, writers building in more tension to make the story more interesting. ...read more.


Repetition is also a device used by writers to build tension. For e.g. on page one it says 'it's your own choosing.' The same matter the readers would have also noticed is on page two when the old woman says 'this night of all nights' in this sentence we never find out why that night was important but it gives the reader a 'red herring' question. Although when we continue reading it we find out what happens next but only with the excitement of this sentence. Another very important factor for making the story more frightening is by choosing a scary location. For e.g. in The Red Room HG Wells chooses a castle because that fits the best for that kind of a plot. Castles are known to be terrifying because they have large corridors, passages, rooms and halls which automatically give a scary appearance to the readers. As the story continues we get ourselves more involved into how the author passes through the dark corridors on his way to the red room. Every part of that really excites us because we are sceptical about what is going to happen next. ...read more.


Just after that he slowly moves to that corner with a candle to reassure himself that there was nothing there. From then onwards till he is injured we acknowledge how the suspense in the story rises along with the rise in tension. In one of the parts he mentions 'shadows seemed to take another step towards me' in this part the light symbolizes truth. Without light, there is no truth. Basically he is also tries to explain that without light he can't discover the red room. In the last part he panics as the shadows race after him (which he predicts are ghosts). That is where I would say the peak of suspense is because we are uninformed of what will happen to the writer, whether he will be caught by the evils or whether something very terrible is going to happen to him. Altogether, the story has constant building of tension and suspense which we are always unaware of but that is where we get the most attracted to the script. The environment is again also very unpredictable; every moment in the room is a new experience for him. In my opinion, ending is done very sensibly because the writer denies the fact there was some evil spirit in the red room. ...read more.

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