'The Red Room'.
Extracts from this essay...
THE RED ROOM People have always enjoyed ghost stories, when you read a ghost story it makes you feel the fear and tension the character is going through. The title 'The Red Room' immediately attracts the reader's attention, "what is it?" "Why red?" When something is red it makes us think of something sinister and dangerous. The title alone makes you curious and want to read on. A short story has to attract the reader by building up tension to keep it interesting. If all the action is at once or happens too quickly, the reader soon loses interest. The writer has to build up tension and then calm it down, then raising it a little so that the reader stays interested. The first lines in a book are always very important; they give us an idea of the story and grasp the reader's attention. " I can assure you, that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me". From the first line we know the story has a ghost theme and that the character is quite educated and arrogantly thinks he's better than most.
This makes the reader want to find out if the stories are true about the room as there is no evidence. Repetition is a technique also used by writers to build tension. The first example of this, on the first page, is 'it's your own choosing'. The old man is warning the younger man about what he believes will put the man in great danger, as well as leaving the choice up to him. Another example of this is the old woman when she repetitively tells the young man "this is the night of all nights". We never know why that night is important but it gives the reader a 'red herring' question. This keeps the readers interest because you want to find out why? The setting of the story is important, it is a castle, a very stereotypical place for a ghost story. They create fear and tension in themselves because of their great size and they're full of corridors, vast rooms and stairs. As the man explores the subterranean section of the castle, he thinks he sees a figure in front of him, only to discover it's an ornament of a Chinaman on a table.
He feels no draft but makes himself think that it was a draft to reassure him again but deep down he fears that he's not alone in the room. "Shadows seemed to take another step towards me". The light symbolises the truth, without it fear and tension is everywhere. When the man says the shadows seem to take another step towards him, he is saying fiction is closing in on him and he's being drawn away from the truth. Then there is a gap in time; tension starts to unwind slowly. He wakes up the next morning after being rescued at dawn by the old people. He personifies fear with the red room. He has had a fight with his fear and in the end his fear wins. For me, the red room symbolizes one's own fear. Nothing is actually in the room except what one believes is there. The tension in the story is the unknown. Anything relating to the unknown could build tension. H.G.Wells uses tension to make the story interesting and keep the readers attention. The story has many meanings and has a certain theme: To be denied of information as a reader is far more powerful than to know the truth. ADAM BOAKES 11RH
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