The ways in which HG Wells uses language to interest the reader
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The Red Room is of infinite resemblance to other Gothic stories as a Gothic story is usually a type of romantic fiction, which predominated English literature in the last third of the eighteenth century and the first two decades of the nineteenth century. The setting was usually a ruined Gothic castle or abbey. The Gothic novel or Gothic romance emphasised mystery and horror, it was also filled with ghost haunted rooms, underground passages, and secret stairways.
The story is of huge resemblance to a Gothic story because of the old derelict house, which is present, also the passages and a spiral staircase. The main resemblance is of course the haunted room in which the scariness is mainly focused upon. Immediately the haunted room is brought to the reader’s attention and this is effectively to engage interest early on. HG Wells tries to enlighten the reader and make the reader realise that the atmosphere around the house is eerie, amongst the dark and dismal presence of the three old and withering people.
They are sat as if anchored to there chairs, silent and therefore making the atmosphere even more tense as they sit in total solitude. The woman is always fixating her eyes distinctly onto the fire giving off weird thoughts to the reader she is almost staring into space and another dimension. The old people who are sat down hardly ever interact with each other especially the woman who stares icily at the fire. The old people are referred to as “ancient” summing up how old they really are.
They are made out as sort of ghouls by the way it mentions the old man who supported himself with a single crutch, his eyes were covered up by a shade, and his lower lip half averted hung pale and pink from his yellow decaying teeth. HG Wells explains the characters well and the style in which they are brought to the readers’ attention connects with the experience of eeriness that ultimately the author is trying to achieve. HG Wells does achieve a great sense of nerviness due to the setting of a derelict and somewhat dismal place and the all round horrid residents who inhabit it.
HG Wells tries to make the reader believe that he/she is situated and presently involved in the Red Room the Red Room. He accomplishes this using first person narrative and it is almost as if he is communicating with the reader and the reader can hear the thoughts of the character that enters the Red Room. Using descriptive writing HG Wells gives the reader an attraction of realism, which is passed on to them as they read further on and become more and more enticed into the story. The old people are referred to as “ancient” summing up how old they really are.
They are made out as sort of ghouls by the way it mentions the old man who supported himself with a single crutch, his eyes were covered up by a shade, and his lower lip half averted hung pale and pink from his yellow decaying teeth. HG Wells’s techniques are descriptive, as a lot of detail has been inscribed into the Red Room. The reader is told a lot of information about the derelict house and gets a real feel of what its really like. The more you read the more you want to continue and so the writer this time HG Wells has completed his task to a full extent.
The writer’s aim is to keep you guessing and therefore interested in the Red Room to an extent that you want to know how it all concludes. HG Wells uses repetition a lot in his writing too as the old man with the withered arm mentions “it is your own choosing” on three occasions. The repetitiveness is used to get the point across because as they cannot enter the room they are not the ones to judge or force another to enter the haunted room. The man with the withered arm says this because him and the others haven’t the courage to enter the Red Room but are obviously always thinking about it.
The three old people not having the courage to enter the haunted room only adds to the tension and informs the reader quickly that if they wont enter the room then it must be horrifying. The woman says “this night of all nights” when the person has accepted that he must go in adding tension to his campaign of entering the Red Room HG Wells refers to the house as cold and an immense feeling of darkness is given which is cascaded all around the house. He employs this tactic so that the reader can always come to terms that the house has a terrifying and weird atmosphere, which is all around and not for one moment think otherwise.
There is also alternating tension and cheeriness of narrator in the Red Room. The story being told in first person narrative is clever and allows the reader in to the mind of the person entering the Red Room. The reader is always being notified his thoughts; they know what he is thinking and what he might even do next so an element of guessing is employed too. The suspense is sustained brilliantly when the candles go out and the panic which builds up to the final paragraph of the Red Room. At this point in the story tension is increasing steadily as the reader is caught and wondering curiously about the next few paragraphs.
The Red Room also ends in daylight, which contradicts with the darkness that had once been plentiful; the author’s tactic here leaves the reader stunned and amazed because of the light displayed at the end. Not only does this contradict the darkness but also the story as the reader is almost plagued by darkness throughout, with the darkness subsiding shortly the bold light is brought into place at the end this is totally of opposite to what the reader thinks will happen. Therefore HG Wells has effectively rounded off an excellent story because of the relevance in which it is written to a gothic story.
Gloominess is suggested by the cold and dark, contributing to the atmosphere of oppression and neglect. To gain an effect of atmosphere HG Wells has used these to good effect description of people i. e. withered arm, pale eyes, and monstrous shadow also the description of the house – queer old mirror, door creaked there are also the warnings “This night of all nights” which are repeated. The writer has used repeated references to the old peoples fear of darkness, shadows too. Gloominess is suggested by the cold and dark, contributing to the atmosphere of oppression and neglect.
HG Wells has also used similes, metaphors and personification of darkness of fear wisely e. g. These are just a few quotes that ultimately are the imagery in which HG Wells uses to create even more atmosphere and tension in the story. They are spoken boldly from the characters and are there to balance out the style of writing in which HG Wells is trying to inject into the story. It is vital that he sustains atmosphere, tension and suspense in the way in which he does to make the story successful.
“Fashions born in dead brains” “little tongue of light” “ocean of mystery” like a ragged storm cloud sweeping out the stars” Darkness “Closed upon me like the shutting of an eye” “wrapped about me in a stifling embrace” “sealed my vision” “crushed … reason from my brain All in all atmosphere and tension are created well by HG Wells as the reader is oblivious to what will happen next throughout the story and also is enticed on several occasions to read further on. HG Wells sustains the theme throughout which gives the reader knowledge of the present time and by sticking to this HG Wells creates even more fright, which is the main task and is completed well in the Red Room.