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This essay is going to illustrate how 'The red room' by H.G Wells and 'The farthing house' by Susan Hill to a certain degree are typical of the horror, ghost story genre.

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Introduction

This essay is going to illustrate how 'The red room' by H.G Wells and 'The farthing house' by Susan Hill to a certain degree are typical of the horror, ghost story genre. The Red Room is a traditional gothic story, which in Victorian times would have been very popular with the readers. The author H.G Wells creates suspense in an unusual way rather than describe fear in to the readers mind with the use of long silences which have been known to work, the author develops the sense of fear without telling the reader why the fear exists in the first place. Since imagination is a human's most powerful tool, if not very helpful in scary circumstances, H.G Wells approach works creating almost like a cerebral psychosomatic thriller. The story itself is characterized by the deserted and dilapidated 'Loraine castle' which creates an effectual plot to add to the ghoulish ambiance. The Farthing house is more subtle in its approach it is a ghost story never the less in a modern everyday setting and time era, which should be very familiar to the reader. 'Farthing House' has a physical encounter, which creates the idea of a ghost story in a modern context. A sense of anxiety is created almost immediately in the opening sequences of 'The Red Room'. The storyteller is youthful, confident, skeptical, and arrogant and patronizing as H.G Wells uses the characterization of the narrator through out the story to add frisson and dramatic irony through his emotions. The first person narrative familiarizes us with the character and immediately anticipation is built up, as we only know as much as the storyteller knows. As the tale progresses, three elderly custodians pierce into the story. H.G Wells uses them to create a sense of dismay and darkness by their company within the castle. H.G Wells cunningly creates an eerie and negative impression, by the clever description of the elderly people. ...read more.

Middle

The setting of the scene immediately changes. H.G Wells makes a contrast of the dark, evil night to the light, safe morning. It is in the safe morning, where the narrator explains the ordeal of the red room to the custodians. With the narrator in the daylight, where he feels safe, he says, "There is neither ghost of earl nor ghost of countess in that room, there is no ghost there at all; but far worse...." "Fear". It is then the story ends in a dramatic climax, in which he explains that, theirs no ghost but fear, which are built inside by the actions of others. There is so much fear that it leads to mental paranoia. For example, the narrator speaks about an unexpected presence. "...as one might start and see the unexpected presence of a stranger." That presence was the creation of paranoia in the mind of the narrator. H.G Wells cleverly leaves the story quite open. As the ending, raises more questions than the story can answers. 'Farthing house', by Susan Hill, starts the story, almost exactly like The Red Room, in the way that, both narrators' create suspense in the opening paragraph. 'Farthing house' is also written in the first person narrative, as this seems to be a direct technique in which a ghost story writer uses to be direct and to express the fear and panic that the narrator illustrates to the reader. "I have never told you any of this before-I have never told anyone, and indeed, writing it down and sealing it up for a future date may still not count for 'telling'. But I shall feel better for it, I am sure of that." Straight away the narrator is showing some urgency and anxiety to the reader. She seems to be telling us something confidential and confessional as that creates fretfulness and leave's the reader in bewilderment. ...read more.

Conclusion

This may be because the psychological fear may not be of a huge disparity. For example in 'The Red Room' the other characters had a major part in the build up of tension. Where as in Farthing house, the characters played a smaller role in creating tension but instead create a negative atmosphere. The narrator tells the reader that she feels 'terrible melancholy' as she creates a cold atmosphere within her cleverly described emotions. The narrator tells the reader, straight after the encounter, that at the second encounter the ghost was present. She also admits that she is 'depressed,' and 'distressed,' due to the encounters with the ghost. The narrator ends the story by adding an ominous atmosphere to create frission. She tells the reader that 'it was dark, dreadful, helpless feeling and with no sense of foreboding.' The concluding part of the story, Susan Hill explains to a larger extent than H.G Wells. Susan Hill creates a more of a conclusion where as 'The Red Room' leave's the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. At the last parts of the story, the narrator stumbles across a gravestone at a nearby church. This gravestone belonged to a mother who died with her infant. She then goes to the vicar for answers, and the vicar explains as her sentiments are centred on pity and sorrow. Both writers' techniques, in creating setting, atmosphere and tension all seem to be similar in one way or another. But Hill uses little hints of the genre to give slight more hope of a ghost. Hill uses the past in creating referable links from which deductions can be made. For example: the women who encountered a ghost, which was reported on the newspapers. She develops the characters by creating atmosphere, for example the bad events that later builds up to create tension. Where as Wells, uses the narrator's mentality psych of the setting. Both stories have built up a really menacing atmosphere of a ghost story genre. But Wells seems to integrate the classic genre elements, which the readers are more familiar with. ...read more.

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