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HG Wells Sustaining Tension Essay Research Paper

HG Wells Sustaining Tension Essay Research Paper How h g Wells Builds and sustains tension In The Red Room The title The Red Room immediately attracts the reader s attention it is symbolic but leaves unanswered quest.

HG Wells Sustaining Tension Essay, Research Paper

How H. G. Wells,

Builds and sustains tension In "The Red

Room". ??????????? The title "The Red Room"

immediately attracts the reader’s attention; it is symbolic but leaves

unanswered questions.? "What is the

red room?"? "Why is it

red?"? We associate red with fear

and danger.? Is this room

dangerous?? Overall, the title raises so

much curiosity that it has an overwhelming effect, wanting us to read on and

find answers to our questions.??????????? The short story writer has to

attract the reader and keep their attention throughout.? In order for any story to work, tension has

to be built in the text, to keep it interesting.? In a novel, the writer has to structure and create tension

building it up and letting it drop and picking it up again.? Too much fast-paced action in a film kills

the essence of it and for the viewer, it can become almost funny to watch.? For a short story, however, it is able to

build tension and sustain it without completely dropping down to the original

level.? The best way of building tension

is to increase the tension then drop down slightly but not as low as at the

outset.? In adding more drama, little by

little, the story gains tension but the reader is also reminded of the

excitement as he is released from the drama from time to time.??????????? In a short story, the reader will be

able to have a strong influence from the writer’s first and last lines.? This makes them very important and are well

thought out.? This is the first line:"’I can assure

you,’ said I, ‘that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.’"From this first line, the reader can assume two pieces of

information.? Firstly that this story

involves a ghost, and secondly that the character is an educated and well-read

man. This peak of

interest increases the tension and stops the reader from putting the book

down.? Also, as it is a short story it

gets straight to the point.??????????? The story in the first page

introduces four characters.? A young

man, an old man and his wife, and another old man.? We never know their names.?

The young man is skeptical about the red room being haunted.? The three elder people believe that it is

haunted and dare not even go there.?

Opposites build drama and drama builds tension.? This is the perfect example of how opposites

build tension.? Firstly, we have the young

against the old, which also symbolizes the inexperienced against the wise.? There is also the conflict between

’skeptics’ and the ‘wise’.? Although

they may be wise, the older people have not ever dared to go to the red

room.? They have become wise as they

have heard the stories about the room but none of them has ever had first hand

experience of the room.??????????? Repetition is also a device used by

writers to build tension.? One of the

most obvious examples is on the first page."It’s your own choosing."The old man is

trying to warn the young man but at the same time he is leaving the ‘decision’

to him.? It is as if the three old

people are ridding themselves of their responsibility of the young man.? It is their duty, like guardians, to warn

the man of what they believe is to be his death. Another use of

repetition is on page two where the old woman keeps on repeating, "this

night of all nights."? We never

find out why that night is important but it gives the reader a ‘red herring’

question.? Although we are going to find

out when we read on; we want to have answers and this continues our interest

into – "why was that night important?"??????????? The location is critical to the

short story.? The writer needs to give

his story a carefully considered and appropriate backdrop.? A short story works through its location,

characters, and setting in time and language.?

These are the ingredients that tie it together and make the mixture

complete.? In this story, the location

is very important.? The story is set in

a castle.? A ghost story in a castle is

not a new idea and although it is a rather unoriginal location, it is very

appropriate.? The old people who inhabit

the place cannot use most of it to live in because they are afraid of the ‘red

room’.? This keeps them well away from

that section of the castle.? A castle is

such an appropriate location and here what we do not know is far more

frightening than what we do know.? A

castle is a perfect example of what we do not know!? It is full of rooms, corridors and stairs.? As the story continues, the young man

explores the castle on his journey to the red room.? On route to the red room, he comes across what looks like a

figure in front of him only to find it was an ornament of a Chinaman on a buhl

table.? Then as he approaches the door

to the red room, the tension builds and he enters very quickly closing the door

behind him.? He finds himself in a huge

red walled room.? As he continues to

arrange the room, the tension is allowed to fall giving the reader a certain

release.? As he becomes more aware of

the shadows in the room the tension rises again:"The shadow in the alcove at the end in particular had

that undefinable quality of a presence, that odd suggestion of a lurking,

living thing, that comes so easily in silence and solitude."Again, this

shows us how darkness is far more frightening than being able to see and

knowing what is there.? Tension is built

by how the young man expresses his feelings.?

To conquer his fear of the unknown the man places a candle in an alcove

in the corner of the room:"At last, to reassure myself, I walked with a candle

into it, and satisfied myself that there was nothing tangible there.? I stood that candle upon the floor of the

alcove, and left it in that position."Here he is

referring to the opening line about having to find a very tangible ghost.??????????? Tension mounts as her begins talking

to himself, but after listening to the eerie echoes, he gets more frightened

than before.? The tension increases now

all the time.? He is getting more nervous

and he feels the need for more candles.?

He has to get some from the corridor and he lights them and places them

around the room.? His spirits lift but

there is also tension created through his black humour.? He may be watching what he describes as? "cheery and reassuring little streaming

flames," but he is getting nervous and he jokes about how he should warn

any ghost about tripping over a candle on the floor. ??????????? Then it happens.? The first candle goes out, casting a black

shadow on the wall.? The second candle

goes out and the tension in the story is boosted as there is uncertainty about

why the candle went out.? Although the

man does not feel any draft, he claims that it was a draft that blew it out.? He tries to reassure himself by lying to

himself although he has a deeper feeling that he may not be alone.? He has to dismiss this from his mind

otherwise he would become the victim of his own fears.? As he goes over to re-light the candle, it

goes out, then another and another.?

Then one is extinguished in front of him while he is looking at it."Shadows seemed to take another step towards me"The light symbolizes the truth.? Without light, there is no truth.? If the light goes out he has no way of finding out what is in the

red room.? The darkness creates the

tension and fear.? In light, we can see

but when it is dark we cannot see and therefore tension and fear is

everywhere.? When the man says that the

shadows take another step towards him, he is saying that fiction is closing in

on him and as it does, he is been drawn away from the truth.In the story, the man has a revolver.? This symbolizes violence, which leads to

conflict, and conflict builds tension.?

Fire symbolizes warmth and wards off evil.? The old people with disabilities symbolize the fear inside him

and how he would not like to end his life.?

However, at the end, he does become like them, talking in their style

about what had happened.? Panic comes as the room plunges into shadows with him racing

around trying to keep up with the candles as they go out.? Approaching the epiphany, the tension is

further highlighted, as the sentences become shorter.? Clumsily he knocks his thigh against the table.? His downfall begins.? From here on he loses control.? It is as if he is in sinking sand and the

rope stopping him from sinking completely snaps.? He loses his quest for the truth as he tries to light the fire

with the last candle.? He runs into

something and knocks himself out.? For

me this is the epiphany.Then there is a gap in time; tension starts to unwind

slowly.? He wakes up the next morning

after being rescued at dawn by the old people.?

He personifies fear with the red room.?

He has had a fight with his fear and in the end his fear wins.? For me, the red room symbolizes one’s own

fear.? Nothing is actually in the room

except what one believes is there. The tension in the story is the unknown.? Any passage relating to the unknown could

build tension.Language plays an important part and changes with

characters.? The old people have an old English

vocabulary, whereas the young man is given a very upper class and stylish

vocabulary.? Around the epiphany of the

story, the language relating to the young man’s experience is described in very

short sentences with a lot of punctuation.?

H.G.Wells uses tension to make the story interesting and

keep the readers attention.? The story

has many meanings and has a certain theme:To

be denied of information as a reader is far more powerful than to know the

truth.

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