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Prose study, tension in the red room, the ostler and the speckled band.

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Introduction

Prose study, tension in the red room, the ostler and the speckled band The Red Room We as the reader are immediately attracted to the title "The Red Room" because it raises so much curiosity and leaves many unanswered questions. "What is the red room?" "Why is it red?" The colour red is associated with fear, danger and maybe even blood so is the room dangerous? Our minds can create so many thoughts about this one title that we are filled with an urge to read on to find the answers to our questions. In a short story, we are influenced by the writers first and last lines, so they have to carry meaning. "I can assure you,' said I, 'that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me." From this first line, we see a glimpse of the characters personality. He is an educated man who may be stubborn and inexperienced, or quite wise. However, it is that the story already involves a ghost that prevents the reader from putting the book down. A short story often gets straight to the point. H.G Wells cleverly sets the scene in a warm and comforting environment. A large fire in the centre of the room makes you feel secure. The three old people huddled closely together provide the beginning of the story with a sense of eeriness that reminds you not to relax. We never find out their names and their unsightly features make you feel suspicious of them. Tension is built by the opinions of the four people in the room. One younger man is skeptical about the red room being haunted whilst the elder three dare not even go in. Repetition is a device used to build the tension: "It's your own choosing." "This night of all nights." These are warnings to the young man to tell him he shouldn't go, but they are allowing him to make his own decisions. ...read more.

Middle

That one aspect of safety that means he can see where she is has just disappeared and he is in darkness. But instead the candle relights to show no one in the room. It is obvious that the dream is the significant moment. The fact that the landlord does not believe him just emphasizes how significant the dream was to the rest of the story. Now the reader is totally drawn in by the overwhelming desire to find out who the woman was and what she wanted. When Isaac returns to his mother it is clear that she knows something that we have yet to find out. "His mothers face grew paler and paler." Her immediate concerns about the dream that cause her to record every detail causes us concerns, we can see her worry. She later refuses to even talk about it; this gives the writer the opportunity to hide whatever is about to happen. The tension begins to rise again when Isaac meets a distressed woman outside the chemist who clearly wishes to commit suicide. We aren't ever told why she wants to end her life but she captures Isaacs fascination over her story. "There is no need to relate it here; it is told over and over again in police reports." Talking about attempted suicides in reports may relate to her. Or she may be referring to women in general who feel vulnerable. In any case she has introduced something unsafe and suspicious about herself and we can see the dangers before Isaac can. His language and attitude towards her shows us that he is clearly infatuated by her and the reader has an intuition that something is about to happen. "His mind was so completely absorbed by its new subject of interest." When she later begins to take control of his life our suspicions are confirmed. "How to break the news of his approaching marriage... ...read more.

Conclusion

Doyle's simile of the house having 'two curving wings like the claws of a crab' makes you very anxious, it makes you feel as the though the entire house will grab you. A description such as this creates the tension that is building to a climax, it is clear something is going to happen inside the house. The very thought that Holmes is inside the house of a killer is enough to cause the reader to feel very tense. Along with ventilators that do not ventilate, dummy bell ropes which are not attached to a wire and a bed clamped to the floor you can tell that you are drawing close to the answer behind it all. As in the previous two stories the setting of the discovery is in the dark. "All was dark in the direction of the Manor House." Darkness instantly builds tension because without light, things are not what they seem. The shady distorted child would simply be the baboon in daylight. The word 'dark' is used often to create tension and remind the reader that the mood is very uneasy. "Dark roads..." "...Across the lawn into the darkness..." "...Left in the darkness." This is where the author uses pathetic fallacy. The reader must be put into the right frame of mind to accept the events that are happening and so Doyle sets the eerie mood. The use of language is vital in the success of this story, it determines each character. Holmes is very intelligent with an eye for clues who is a sophisticated gentleman. Helen is a very fragile woman but most importantly Dr Roylotts threats and attitude helped us to accuse him. The resolution of the story is very satisfying. Justice has been served when the murderer brings about his own destruction. Holmes knew the answers to our questions but let us reveal them ourselves which helped to create the suspense. Unlike the previous two short stories this ending leaves us with no unanswered questions to play on our minds. ...read more.

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