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Tension and Suspense in 'The Red Room by H.G. Wells

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Introduction

In H.G Wells' The Red Room tension and suspense are created through the characters, the plot and the setting. The setting is typical of Gothic and Victorian ghost stories. In these times there was no electricity so use of candles for light created an eerie atmosphere. They had no modern technology like televisions for entertainment so they used books and story telling. Also people in Victorians times were less educated than we were now so they relied more on religion than science which made them more gullible which adds to the suspense as they were more likely to believe this story. Short stories usually have to start well to attract a reader's attention and keep it throughout. ...read more.

Middle

The characters build the suspense straight away as they do not tell the man their names, which creates a lack of personalisation. It makes the reader feel as if they are hiding something, and that maybe they are subhuman. Also the description of each of the old characters is abnormal. The old man is described with a "withered arm" which is a feature of horror which can create pictures in the reader's mind of peculiar person. "Decaying" and "yellow teeth" are both phrases which implies a huge contrast between the man and the old people. The man is young and confident about going to the red room and he is also un-believing in ghost. The old people are awkward to one anther and towards the man,"with their gaunt silences", "evident unfriendliness". ...read more.

Conclusion

The old woman repeats "this night of all nights". This tells us that there is a back round history of what has happened in the room. These repeated warnings infer that the characters do not want the man to go to the red room and that something has happened in the room that they haven't told him. Features of setting play a big part in the build up of tension. The factor of isolation caused by the "baize covered door" and the long corridor. The baized door muffles sound so even if he screams no one will hear him so once he is behind the door he is alone. The long corridor shows the red room is far away from the rest of the house. Isolation causes tension because once you are alone there is no-one there to help you. ...read more.

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