A Detailed Discussion, Comparison and Analysis of 'The Red Room' and 'The Monkeys Paw' Concentrating on How Each Author Builds Tension and Suspense.

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A Detailed Discussion, Comparison and Analysis of ‘The Red Room’ and ‘The Monkeys Paw’ Concentrating on How Each Author Builds Tension and Suspense.

In ghost stories, the scene is often set in a similar way.  There may be an old, dilapidated house that is set in the middle of nowhere that the main character will describe or it has a terrible history.  In the house, there may be a spiral staircase or a long daunting passage.  There will almost certainly be a ghost involved with a certain room within the house.  Furthermore, when the main character arrives it would usually be in the dark and set at night, sometimes it would even be described as cold and chilly.  All of these add tension and suspense to the story due to the fact that darkness and mist restricts the sight of the character and if it is chilly then it makes the reader feel scared because the thought of the cold sends a chill down their spine.

The atmosphere in The Red Room follows the normal ghost story setting of there being an old dilapidated castle with creaking doors.  There are three old people that the character describes, one of them having a “withered arm”, a woman with “pale eyes” and a second man with a “monstrous shadow”.  This immediately sets the scene for the beginning of a ghost story.  The fact that the people are old shows that the fear of the room has gone on for generations.  However, when the character starts talking to the people the tension gathers as the man with the withered arm repeatedly says to the character, “It is your own choosing”.  While he is saying that, the old woman repeatedly speaks of a warning, “This night of all nights”.  Both of these make the reader very tense and suspicious of what happened in this red room and what happened on this night.  In The Monkey's Paw the very first line starts building the suspense, “the night was cold and wet”.  This is a classic start to a ghost story because it creates tension.  Like The Red Room, The Monkey's Paw follows the typical beginning of a ghost story, “of all the beastly, slushy, out of the way places to live in.”  You can tell by this line that the house will be the focus of the story because it says that it is out of the way, so you know that something is going to happen involving this house.

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        As the story unfolds in The Monkey's Paw, the reader becomes more suspicious because the soldier acts as if he has something to hide, but whenever he is confronted, he speaks very hastily.  Mrs White soon becomes very curious, ‘“Monkey’s paw?” said Mrs White curiously.’  The soldier then begins to tell the story about how he got hold of the monkey’s paw, so everybody in the room “leaned forward eagerly”.  This is trying to show that the story must be interesting and probably has some relevance to what the soldier didn’t want to talk about, thus building and adding ...

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