In The Red Room by H.G. Wells a lot of suspense and tension is
created. The Red Room fits into the gothic genre because it has some
of the requirements for a gothic story in it, like, being set in a
castle, an atmosphere of mystery and suspense, a prophecy, the
supernatural and high levels of emotion. The story creates tension in
lots of ways such as, shadows, noises, charcters and general mystery
surrounding the red room.
At the beginning of The Red Room the author creates tension by having
the narrator straight away in a scene which is unusual to him, he is
in a dark old room with old people who are mostly disfigured and
slightly other worldly in the way they look and behave.
“… I had scarce expected these grotesque custodians.” He sees them not
as ordinary people but as being grotesque so is clearly unhappy being
with them. The author also immediately creates tension by talking of
ghosts and the supernatural straightaway.
“… It will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.” So we already
have talk of ghosts in only the first line! As the narrator begins
his journey to the red room more tension is created.
“… and my candle flared and made the shadows cower a quiver, the
echoes rang up and down the spiral staircase…” so we have shadows
cowering and quivering which is exactly what people do when they are
frightend, the shadows are also being personified which could be a
representation of the narrator’s fear. The author uses shadows again
to create tension when he is on his way to the red room.
“… and as a shadow came sweeping up after me…” so we feel that the
narrator is being chased up the staircase by something perhaps not of
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...king him and
this could result in something happening to him. The description also
enables him to understand how the rumours in the red room could have
started which makes him very nervous. Light and dark are obviously
very symbolic, dark represents danger and the unknown whereas light
means we are safe because we can see everything around us and it is
harder to be fooled by noises or shadows in the light.
Tension and suspense were constantly created in The Red Room by H.G.
Well’s using various techniques, the writer uses a lot of different
techniques to keep the reader wondering and to make sure that tension
and suspense are always present in the story. In my opinion there is
no one technique which is used to greater effect than any other one.
I think that they are all used in equally effective amounts and they
all help to create suspense and tension.
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