The Red Room by H.G.Wells

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The Red Room                Charles Facey

The Red Room by H.G.Wells

In the story ‘the Red Room’ by H.G.Wells suspense is created in many different ways. The short story has many similarities to a traditional gothic story. He writes in the same style of a gothic story. The story also is structured in many ways, which creates suspense. The setting of the story creates a feeling of suspense and fear. The language and style of the story compares with typical Victorian language, which creates the feeling as well. Atmosphere in the story is one of the main ways suspense is created along with imagery.

The story evolves round an old, derelict house that appears to be in the middle of nowhere. This creates suspense as no one knows where the narrator is exactly and the descriptions of the house also create suspense as it sounds like a typical gothic building. The house has many passages and spiral staircases. These are described on the narrator’s journey to the Red Room. ‘The echoes rang up and down the spiral staircase,’ and ‘I heard the sound of a stick and a shambling step on the flags in the passage outside.’ A typical gothic scene would have many old structured spiral staircases and dark passages. This is another way that H.G.Wells creates suspense. In the story ghosts are the main theme. Typical ghosts in gothic days might have been considered a ‘white sheet floating’. The ghosts in this story are very basic no real descriptions just talk. This creates suspense, as the readers don’t know what is going to happen and what is going to cause it. The Red Room is described as the haunted room. ‘If you will show me to this haunted room of yours.’ The way the room is talked about like this by the characters creates suspense. Darkness is a continual theme in the story and so are shadows. From the text the descriptions of darkness create an enclosed feeling for the reader and the narrator, like a gothic tomb. This creates suspense in a way that fear is because of not feeling safe in the darkness.

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‘One could well understand the legends that had sprouted in its black corners, its germinating darkness.’

Another main way in which suspense is created is in the structure of the story. At the opening of the story there are four characters, the narrator and the three old people. The way they are all described in a grotesque way creates suspense. ‘Said the man with the withered arm,’ and ‘He supported himself by a single crutch, his eyes were covered by a shade, and his lower lip, half averted, hung pale and pink from his decaying yellow teeth,’ and finally ‘I ...

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