The Red Room and The Judge's House - Typical Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories?

The Red Room and The Judge's House - Typical Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories?

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The Red Room and The Judge's House - Typical Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories?

Nineteenth century ghost stories are typical of the gothic genre. They
are referred to as stereotypical, because in the period they were
written in, it was the practice to include several distinctive
elements which are now exclusively associated with this genre. 'The
Red Room' by H. G. Wells (1894) and 'The Judge's House' by Bram Stoker
(1891) will be discussed in this essay to assess them as distinctive
examples of ghost stories.

There are various elements which are distinctive of characteristics of
a nineteenth century ghost story. The criteria used to determine 'The
Red Room' and 'The Judge's House' are of nineteenth century ghost
stories in this essay are, firstly, the setting. This is the
background scenery to the story and is, typically of this genre, an
isolated place or house. The second element is the inclusion of
characters with a variable state of mind throughout the story. This
could be a terrifying consuming fear or the complete loss of reason
leading to insanity. The incorporation of characters which believe and
do not believe in the supernatural is the third element. This allows a
wider range of people to read the story and associate with the
characters. The fourth criterion is an ancient prophecy or a history
of disturbances surrounding the place where the story is set. The
fifth element is light. Ghost stories make use of shadows, darkness,
night-time, and the diffusive light of a candle to help develop
tension and suspense. The final element is imagery used by authors.
The images created tend to be appealing to the five human senses of
touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing. I will compare 'The Red Room'
and 'The Judge's House' base...


... middle of paper ...


...t and inflamed', plus,
'red eyes'. This gives the sense of you being watched. The references
to, 'monstrous shadow', 'grotesque custodians', and, 'the human
qualities seem to drop from old people insensibly day by day', shows
that they aren't like normal human beings and are out of this world.

'The Judge's House' is a perfect example of the three types of
characters. Malcolmson obviously being the non-believer, Mrs Witham,
Mrs Dempster and Dr. Thornhill are the believers. While the Judge's
spirit is the supernatural. Malcolmson is also a rational person like
the narrator of 'The Red Room'. He believes in knowledge not fictional
stories. 'A man who is reading for the Mathematical Tripos', and,
'disturbed by any of these mysterious somethings'. It doesn't have
many references to Malcolmson attitude to the Judge's house. But from
this quote, we can see he is not afraid.

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