We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The Red Room by HG Wells Essay

The whole doc is available only for registered users
  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1636
  • Category:

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

With just the first few lines, H. G. Wells places the story elements genre, character, and scene in place within the opening few lines. He does this to so he does not have to revisit these elements of the story in detail anywhere further in the story. If he was to do this it would take away from the build up of tension by adding factual sentences that aren’t thrilling and would interrupt the build up of tension The genre is created by H. G. Wells in just the first line when the main character answers a question that has just been asked but is not actually printed.

The answer is ‘I can assure you,’ said I, ‘that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me. ‘ From this, the reader of the story can identify that this story will be one connected with the supernatural. This typically falls into the ‘horror’ genre, which tells the reader to expect the unnatural and tension from the start. The character roles in the play are also introduced within a few lines when near the beginning of the play the main character observes that the characters ‘were trying to enhance the spiritual terrors of the house’. They are purposely and stereotypically created by H. G. Wells in a way that seems frightening.

They are never referred to by name but by one of their abnormal attributes like ‘said the man with the withered arm’. This use of language not only unsettles the reader but also helps to add the tension. The narrator is illustrated as being an audacious, young, atheist; his age ‘eight-and-twenty-years’ being one of the first things that are mentioned by H. G. Wells. These were used to depict the stereotypical view of young men. However, H. G. Wells makes sure to show that the young man is completely entrenched in his atheist beliefs by adding the line ‘For I come to the business with an open mind’.

This line shows that even if the line may have been voiced mockingly there would be little if not some truth into it leaving the possibility of him changing his mind. In the build up to the main character walking into the Red Room, there is a lot of atmospheric tension created by H. G. Wells. The main character begins to observe his surroundings and situation a lot more meticulously than before and gives more of an attention to the actions of his companions. He notices that ‘the man with the shade… poured out a glassful with a shaky arm that splashed half as much again on the deal table.

In this line, the main character observes the type of table being used and even estimates how much drink was spilt. He then goes on to notice ‘a monstrous shadow’ that ‘crouched upon the wall and mocked his actions. These sentences help to build up the tension and ultimately the fear that gradually starts to grip the main character as he begins to visualise weird shapes and notices small detail insignificant detail, classic examples of agitation. His agitation grows into nervousness when he begins to feel inadequate because of the lack of attention; he receives from the older character.

He says ‘The three of them made me feel uncomfortable, with their silences, their bent carriage, their evident unfriendliness to me and to one another. ‘ In this line, even their appearance, ‘gaunt’, he begins to find offensive and uncomfortable, and he decides to begin his task, and asks for directions for the Red Room. From the time that the main character asks to be shown to the Red Room, to the point when he leaves to travel to the room, he is warned by the older characters three times about his purpose. The questioning the main character, about if is actually intent in spending a night in the Red Room, is very significant.

By doing this, it is as if he is being given a last chance to avoid the inevitable and stop his adolescent foolishness. At this point there is a lot of tension created by H. G. Wells, because there could almost be a chance that the main character will not spend a night in the Red Room but. Heed the advice of his peers. Unfortunately for him, he does not deliberate the counseling given to him by the older characters, and immediately begins to regret his decision. He masks his regret by stating that it was the ‘deep toned, old-fashioned furniture’ and the ‘oddness of these three pensioners’ that made him feel uneasy.

He then suddenly forgets about his strong atheist views and blatant righteousness, and begins to view the three older characters views with credibility. He shows this by stating that ‘they belong to another age, an older age when things spiritual were different from this of ours’. He next goes on to let the thoughts of ghosts and the spiritual play on his mind and imagination. He begins to imagine and describe the old characters as ‘Their very existence is spectral’ and their ‘fashions born of brains dead.

Even the surroundings and ornaments he begins to view as ‘ghostly- the thoughts of vanished men, which still haunted rather than participated in the world of today. ‘ All these quotes show that he has only finally began to see his predicament from the reader’s point of view. That everything and everyone around him seems to be a warning that the legends are true about the haunting of The Red Room. This greatly increases the tension because the character and reader are now expecting and sure of unusual happenings during the course of the story.

Still the character in the book proceeds up the spiral staircase to The Red Room. His imagination continues still to race with him himself doubting what he hears and sees when he claims ‘a shadow came sweeping up after me, and stopped there for a moment, listening to a rustling that I fancied I heard;’. This line shows he has acknowledged that part of his anxiety is only unsubstantial and a result of tension created through his surroundings. His first reaction to the contents of The Red Room’s corridor is ‘scarcely what I expected’.

This opening sentence shows that none of expectations that he had, even when he was completely sure of their being no truth in the legends about the ghosts, was met. He describes the room as being very spectacular with ‘Everything in its place’, ‘candles in the sockets of the sconces, and whatever dust had gathered on the carpets… distributed so evenly as to be invisible in the moonlight. ‘ This amazement of the condition of The Red Room is surprising to the character and reader because it is not the traditional eerie and scary settings for a story.

Original settings for a horror tale would be dilapidated, dirty, damp, and dangerous. In contrast The Red Room is clean and has ‘Everything in its place’. This first piece of tension instead of dying down is built upon by H. G. Wells with the characters next scare, which is kept in the same paragraph. In this next scare the character still in a state of shock is presented with shadow that seems to be of ‘someone planning to waylay’ him. This shock is enough to make him stand ‘rigid for over half a minute perhaps’ then reach for his revolver in which he entrusts his safety with.

When he realises it was only the shadows of statues he has to ‘restore his nerve’. With only another few footsteps, he reaches another unnerving places where the last person to attempt to spend a night at The Red Room was found. Strangely, he describes the man as his predecessor, which is by definition his forgoer or ancestor. This use of the word makes it seem as if this point in the book is a premonition of what to come. The character himself feels it but doesn’t say instead he says he feels ‘a sudden twinge of apprehension. ‘

All of the scares he receives begin to make the reader wonder about what is actually inside The Red Room. Although nothing unexplainable has happened, this build is enough to amplify anything that does transpire inside, making The Red Room seem like a room ‘101’. As the character enters The Red Room for the first time his only thoughts are of the death of the ‘young Duke’ who had attempted what he was now. He sees the point he is now as the point where the duke ‘begun his dying’. This is strange way of seeing his situation as he himself sees the duke as being his predecessor.

He next surveys his surroundings and brings to mind the legends of the room and even parts of the room, which he cannot see he calls ‘suggestion beyond its island of light. ‘ By doing this, it seems that with this paragraph he is trying to unnerve the reader, again the creation of tension by given secondary information about speculatory aspects of the room. However, as a character he lays his own foundations for a, at this point in the story, almost certain scare. The reason the characters thoughts are never written is to make the reader think it himself

A dictionary definition of tension is ‘ mental strain or excitement. ‘ In the ‘Red Room’ a ‘mental strain or excitement’ is achieved by H. G. Wells through various means of building up the story. Like lighting a match, he will first obtain the means to accomplish the task, build up the friction and the end affect is combustion of all the elements, to cause the desired outcome. A striking finish Within the very structure of the story ‘The Red Room’, tension is produced and it is done by placing the story elements in a typically appropriate order.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59