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Tension in H.G. Wells

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Discuss how H. G. Wells creates tension in his short stories. Comment upon 3 stories you have read. You should consider setting, character and language used (imagery, punctuation, length of sentences.) "The worst of all things that haunt poor mortal man, said I; and that is, in all its nakedness - Fear!" This is an example of how tension is built throughout H. G. Wells' stories. It shows that 'The Red Room' is all about fear and how there is no visible ghost but his imagination is playing the part in his fear. The unknown is often more frightening than something you can see. Tension in writing is keeping the reader in suspense so they are guessing what is going to happen and sometimes the story is ended with a cliffhanger. Writers use tension to build up to the climax. Some writers may use techniques including ellipses to create tension whereas others may use short sharp sentences. H. G. Wells was born in a poor family but his mother was a maid at a rich man's house. He desperately wanted education but despaired of finding it (Short Stories by H.G. ...read more.


An example of this is 'tangible ghost'. 'Tangible ghost' means a solid ghost and this builds tension because the word 'ghost' represents death. In other words, the words 'tangible ghost' conjures a vision of a solid death that you can touch and feel. Another example is, 'It is your own choosing'. These words are repeated many times and it builds tension because the man is saying that he is not forcing anyone to do anything. It is almost like a warning or a disclaimer so he isn't responsible if something terrible happens. The quotation, 'The door creaked on its hinges', represents that the house is old. Creaking noises are considered to be quite creepy. 'A monstrous shadow of him crouched upon the wall', this quotation creates tension because it includes the word 'monstrous' which symbolises evil. 'My candle was a little tongue of flame in its vastness', 'a little tongue of flame' represents evil and hell. It is also an example of personification because usually a flame is not living but when it is written as 'tongue of flame', then it adds life to it i.e. it makes an inanimate object into something that is an animate object like a person is living. ...read more.


'Ah! now I see,' said the visitor. 'Not so very much to see after all. Little streaks and shreds of pink. And yet those little particles, those mere atomies, might multiply and devastate a city! Wonderful!'. In this case, its not how he looks but the what he is saying and the manner in which he is saying it which creates the tension. As before, the language used can create tension as in following example: 'It's a deadly thing to have in your possession,' he said, devouring the little tube with his eyes'. Something that the character has said, he has described in a graphic way. '...and death - mysterious, untraceable death, death swift and terrible, death full of pain and indignity...' is another example of this because he describes death repeatedly in different ways in quick succession. Conclusion H.G. Wells creates tension throughout the three stories by adding strange characters and minor details to the setting such as moonlight. He also adds tension by including deaths and using adjectives. He includes a chase in 'The Stolen Bacillus' and he uses descriptive sentences. In my personal view I prefer 'The Red Room' because I believe 'The Red Room' creates the most tension out of the three stories. My least favourite was 'The Stolen Bacillus' as it wasn't as exciting. Vipen Mahay ...read more.

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