Compare H.G. Wells' The Red Room and Farthing House by Susan Hill Essay

Compare H.G. Wells' The Red Room and Farthing House by Susan Hill Essay

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Compare H.G. Wells' The Red Room and Farthing House by Susan Hill


"There was no mistake about it. The flame vanished, as if the wick had
been suddenly nipped between a finger and thumb, leaving the wick
neither glowing or smoking, but black." Ghost stories use dark and
fear of it as a key element, and most occurrences happen in the night,
and/or in the dark.

The aim of this essay is to compare and contrast the two short stories
- The Red Room by H.G. Wells and Farthing House by Susan Hill. The Red
Room was written pre twentieth century and Farthing house was written
post twentieth century. I will mainly look at the formulaic structure
of the stories and the tension that is built up throughout them by the
authors.

A good ghost story involves a mixture of tension and an interesting
plot or storyline. The formulaic elements - e.g. old
houses/graveyards/other sinister settings, threatening
housekeepers/guests/noises, staying overnight, dark/night, threatening
weather (e.g. storms, thunder) and a death/previous ghostly history
all help to create the genre and entice the reader to continue
reading. There should be twists in the story, to help make it more
interesting, and less predictable. There is also often a lot of
mystery involved - mysterious key characters, unknown noises and
people etc.

The Red Room is a pre-20th century story, written by H.G. Wells in
1896. It is about a room that is allegedly haunted and the story is
told by a young man who is spending the night there. He starts off
extremely confidently but as the story goes on he becomes more and
more frightened and the tension increases. The Red Room is about the
personal experience of the young man whilst in the room, and his own
fear o...


... middle of paper ...


...ing plots. Some elements of the
first formula have stuck, which is why 'The Red Room' and 'Farthing
House' are so similar, although written years apart. I think that they
have stuck because they are a winning combination that attracts
readers.

Over time ghost stories have become more popular and some stories have
also been shown as films or television programmes. This shows that
they are still a popular part of culture and probably will continue to
be in the future. Films and television programmes still often stick to
the formula - setting and history, for example. However the visual
images and plots differ. Farthing House is testimony to this, the
setting is similar but the plot and purpose differs. "I was not afraid
anymore, not now that I knew who she was and why she had been there,
getting out of her bed in Cedar room, to go in search of her baby.

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