How does H.G Wells build suspense in The Red Room?

1210 Words5 Pages
How does H.G Wells build suspense in the red room? H.G. Wells "red room "is a pre-twentieth century suspense short story, which is a type of a Gothic story. I shall examine the various techniques that the writer has used to create and sustain suspense. For the first part of the essay I shall explain what a Gothic story is. A Gothic story is a type of romantic fiction that predominated in English literature in the last third of the 18th century, the setting to for which was usually a ruined Gothic, Castle or Abbey. The Gothic novel or Gothic romance, emphasised mystery and horror and was filled with ghost haunted rooms, underground passages and secret stairways. For this reason it is told the "red room" is a Gothic story, this could also explain how suspense in the "red room" was formed. Also if I look at the genre of the story, suspense is built at the beginning by H.G. Well's description of the man with the withered arm, the woman looking into the fire, the second old man and the description of the house: "Flags in the passage outside." "Door creaked on hinges." Also suspense is built by the description of the room, where the young man has to spend the night: "Steps up to it, were in a shadowy corner" This quote explains what the passage up to the "red room" was like. The mention of shadows in the description of the surroundings gives a feeling of evil, unfriendliness and dark unapproachable places. This also makes you feel on edge. In the structure of the story we constantly are made to be fearful of what we will find by the suggestive comment of the woman and the man with the withered arm. Some examples of the way the old woman and the man with the withered arm, second old man and ... ... middle of paper ... ...nd brings tension back into the story. As the reader I know that the narrator is getting quite nervous: "A queer high note gets into his voice" These words were used to describe the darkness as candles were going out was so accurate. For example: "Like a ragged storm cloud sweeping out the stairs" Words used again to describe sudden darkness. The darkness became a: "Stifling embrace" too much for him to cope with. In my opinion H. G. Wells writes a very descriptive story. He manages throughout to convey a feeling of nervous tension and when he thinks that things are beginning to relax he introduces another unsettling point to the story. He keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you wonder how the story will turn out. His use of descriptive words: "Deafens, darkens and overwhelms" makes the reader see this story in their minds my.
Open Document