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What Do We Learn From The Setting Of the Bar Of Gold And The Red Room?

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What Do We Learn From The Setting Of the Bar Of Gold And The Red Room? Gothic literature always involves portent and the paranormal such as; ghosts, curses, and witchcraft. It is usually set in castles and cemeteries. "The Red Room" by H.G. WELLS (1984) in particular contains some of these elements. Gothic literature is a genre common in the eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. Both, "The Man with the Twisted Lip" by SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE (1891) and "The Red Room", belong to the late Victorian age. The Victorians had interest towards new methods of criminal detection, scientific discoveries, the supernatural, and the occult. Both stories have elements of one or another of these interests. There is a significant disparity between the genre of the two stories. 'The Man with the Twisted Lip', pays more considerations to aspects of real life. It is located in the East End of London, which makes it more realistic, as Conan Doyle portrays the setting as it was in Victorian times; full of smoke, highly contaminated with pollution and prevalent diseases. It is more to do with new methods of criminal detection, which made it a fine story for the Victorians. On the contrary 'The Red Room' is intentionally ambiguous in relation to a specific time and location. ...read more.


The 'Bar of gold' is approached through a "long, low room, thick and heavy with the brown opium smoke, and terraced with wooden berths, like the forecastle of an emigrant ship'. Here the opium den is resembling the poor conditions of an emigrant ship. In correspondence, the 'Red Room' has a 'long, draughty subterranean passage' which is 'chilly and dusty'; followed by a 'spiral staircase'. Both of the journeys are through extensively elongated, and unpleasant paths to the 'Red Room' and the 'Bar Of Gold'. In 'The Man with the Twisted Lip', 'red circles of light' is described as glimmering in the bar of gold. This symbolises danger. When the text says 'a small brazier of burning charcoal', the thermal image is further felt when the reader remembers it is June. This adds an extra intensity of heat to the weather itself. The 'vile stupefying fumes of the drugs' used, add a toxic odour to the surroundings. A creepy atmosphere, dim and depressing is illustrated when the lanterns on the cart 'throw out two golden tunnels of yellow light' through the 'gloom'. At the same time the text utilizes rare patches of light and 'gloom' which may possibly be referring to smog. As well as colour and light to create atmosphere, Conan Doyle, includes sound. ...read more.


It also contrasts to the later location in the story, the area of East London. As Sherlock Holmes solves the case, he collects 'pillows' and generates an 'eastern divan'. He also sits 'crossed-legged' in the 'dim light' which is 'shining upon his face' as his pipe makes 'blue smoke'. Here Conan Doyle makes the story give the impression that this is a mystical procedure since exotic affects is harnessed to this Victorian bedroom. The way Holmes behaves and motivates is quite distinct and also strange. Conan Doyle adds a mystical tone by Holmes using supernatural procedures in order to solve the case. This might have appealed to a Victorian audience's sense of the supernatural. He and Neville St Clair are the central characters in the play, rather then the narrator in it. In the red room the narrator is mostly the central character. He is initially presented as supercilious; this is implied when he says, 'I Can assure you... it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me'. As we travel deeper into the story we find out that he becomes frightened of the Red Room. In conclusion both stories share similarities and differences in some ways. They both are mysterious stories; 'The Man with the Twisted lip' involves a mysterious crime case and 'The Red Room' involves a mysterious case which has ghostly contents. Both would appeal to a Victorian audience. The settings 'The Bar of Gold' and 'The Red Room' are both ominous. ...read more.

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