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The Red Room - Analyse the short story 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells. How does it create and maintain suspense?

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Introduction

The Red Room Analyse the short story 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells. How does it create and maintain suspense? The Red Room by H.G Wells is a pre-twentieth century story written as a gothic mystery. As we begin the story, the reader is immediately familiar with the gothic genre, and we as a reader are involved in the action from the outset. The first line gives us the impression to us that there is a mythical and haunted setting in the story. Descriptions such as a ,'very tangible ghost', interests the reader and keeps them involved. As we already know the genre of the story, throughout the story, we are preparing ourselves for the suspense. H.G.Wells has voiced his beliefs and thoughts into the characters in his story; they both believe in science, rather than superstition. We experience the events through the story with him. Before the journey, three old and 'grotesque' people visit the narrator. Each of them repeatedly says a phrase, which not only makes the reader jump to conclusions about the Red Room, but also helps to create tension. ...read more.

Middle

We also move away from the 'distorted people downstairs' and are travelling through to the next stages of suspense. Everything the man in the story sees either has an impact on him or makes him feel fear and nervousness. 'The long draughty subterranean passage was chilly and dusty', suggests a dark and sinister place. It draws an image in our minds of the darkness and surrounding atmosphere. One of the last things he hears is 'the echoes' which 'rang up and down he spiral staircase'. These sounds startle the narrator and we can sense the fear and tension build as we approach the Red Room. The narrator feels apprehensive and uncomfortable as a 'shadow came sweeping up' after him and fled before him in the 'darkness overhead'. The shadow id personified as fleeing off in the darkness. It is given human qualities, creating a menacing presence. The descriptions of the journey prepare the moods about to be experienced in the Red Room, creating a feeling of expectation. As the man enters the Red Room, the moods and atmosphere change. ...read more.

Conclusion

We can't see the end. It is a vast, cold and deep mystery which has appeared as the 'shutting of an eye'. Short, sharp sentences also help to create a sense of panic, and also quicken the pace aswell as increase the tension. The narrator lights each candle, but then soon realises they are going out. He 'dashes into the alcove, then the corner, and then into the window, relighting three, as two more vanished...' We as the reader are always aware of what lies ahead of the man, as there are many clues which raise our expectations. The passage successfully establishes a sense of fear in the narrator and so we understand the concepts behind each event. We are always kept wondering about what is going to happen next and the language used helps to maintain suspense through vividly drawn descriptions. These create images which bring the story alive in the mind of the reader. The rational narrator tries to prove throughout the story that there is a logical and scientifical meaning to everything and so investigates the room, but later on realises that it is neither, 'ghost of earl nor ghost of countess' that surrounds the room in deep reverence, but something far worst-fear itself! ...read more.

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