The Narrative Structure of The Red Room

The Narrative Structure of The Red Room

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The Narrative Structure of The Red Room

In the beginning of the story, as we know the narrator is very cocky
and confident. When the narrator is in the sitting room, we can see
that tension starts to build up when he meets the weird and daunting
old people. The description of the old people in the sitting room
builds up tension, due to the gruesome description of the almost
terrifying old people. They also act strange, which also adds to the
amount of tension. While the narrator is on his way to the sitting
room, we can see that more tension is being built at this stage, due
to the explicit description of the surroundings, this increases the
amount of tension by ten times, terrifying the reader, keeping the
reader on the edge of their seats. Whilst the narrator is in the
hallway, it has a typical gothic setting, a full moon, eerie statues,
this all adds depth and character to the story. When the narrator
enters the red room, the suspense and tension reaches its climax.
Everything that is in the room appears to horrify the narrator; the
tension reaches such a climax that the narrator experiences extreme
inner fear. But at the end there is a total change of character and
setting, it is totally different from how it was in the beginning.

The narrative structure in the signal man is quite different from that
of the red room. The tensions builds up slowly throughout the story,
even though the beginning is fairly dramatic, tension starts building
on from there onwards. When the narrator meets the signal man, more
tension is built due to the certain deaths. Each time the signal man
tries to stop the death in the same tunnel, someone ended up dying.
The narrator got fairly scared when the signal man told him this, as
you can see this was due to the increase of tension. The third time
that the signal man saw the spectre, this was when it reached its
climax, this was the last of the signal man, and he ended up dying.

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This is one of gothic literatures mysteries, why did the signal man
die? Was it because he had no meaning in life? Or was he just unlucky?
These are just dome of the unanswered questions of gothic literature.

The similarities between these two stories are: they both take place
in dark places, the railway tunnel and the railway cutting which lets
in as much light as a mole hill, and the red room itself which does
not seem to like light considering that it keeps on putting out the
candles being put in there. Neither of the narrators actually sees a
ghost or anything of the supernatural. In both stories the narrator
has to go down, like in the signalman the narrator goes down the
"zigzag path" and in the red room the twenty eight year old duke goes
down some stairs into a "subterranean passage", this could signify
going down into hell. Both stories involve previous deaths in the
signalman there was a train accident on the line of which the
signalman looked after, the red room at least two other people had
died in there or close to the red room like the narrator's
predecessor. Both the stories used cold thermal images like in the
signalman there was a cold but strong wind consistently blowing
through the cutting and in The Red Room that subterranean passage must
have been cold. They both include candles the danger light and the
signalman's lantern, the red room was full of them until the ghost or
draft blew them out. In the signalman the sense of smell is used to
describe that dirty earthy smell that occurs below normal ground level
"it had an earthy, deadly smell" and in The Red Room the sense of
hearing is found when the narrator thinks he hears a rustling noise.
In both stories the setting is based around man made objects such as
the cutting and the castle. The first person in both of these stories
is the narrator; we see every thing through their eyes. Feelings are
shared such as in The Signalman the narrator at one point thinks the
signalman to be a spirit and in the very first line of The Red Room
the duke's feelings are shared when he says "it will take a very
tangible ghost to frighten me.

In conclusion I think that The Red Room was a better story at creating
suspense and tension. I think this because the setting that the author
chose for this was alternatively nerve racking and very gothic,
whereas the setting in the signal man was not as intense as the red
rooms. The author used many techniques in the red room to make it
successful in creating tension, he used metaphors, personification
also he used the human senses to achieve certain affects. The
characters in the red room were, all unique and bizarre in their own
way, whilst the characters in the signal man were fairly dull, didn't
create much tension at all.

The red room also had a more unique and superior theme, which was
inner fear, the most famous line in the story was, 'There is nothing
to fear but fear itself'.

Overall this suggests that the red room used better techniques,
characters etc to create suspense and tension.
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