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How Tension And Suspense Is Built Up In "The Red Room" By H.G. Wells.

746 words - 3 pages

There are many different ways in which HG Wells builds up tension and suspense in 'The Red Room'. One way in which he does this is through the use of language. One of the main effective uses of language in 'The Red Room' is the use of personification; "made the shadows cower and quiver". The shadow embeds fear into the reader, as they wonder if the shadow is alive, which creates tension as the reader wonders what will happen next. Furthermore, the fact that the phrase makes it seem that the shadows are scared of something, and the reader would normally associate shadows with blackness and fear, makes the reader feel uneasy and heightens tension. It is almost as if fear is afraid of fear itself. The setting of the story also creates tension and suspense; "the great red room of Lorraine Castle, in which the young duke died". The fact that it is set in a castle is not only typical of a gothic genre, but it builds suspense by saying; "in which the young duke died". This makes the reader feel that death is imminent. It heightens tension as it makes the reader feel as if the narrator will die at the end of the story.Dialogue is also used by the author to create tension. At first the narrator is sceptical and doubtful about the red room and its alleged supernatural powers; "I can assure you ... that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me". His arrogant behaviour creates uneasiness in the reader's mind as it is typical in a Gothic story for the smug, non-believer to be the first victim of the story. However, as the story continues, we see that there is very little dialogue in the later parts of the story. Conversely, the fact that the story is written in the first person compensates for the lack of dialogue in the later parts of the story. We can also see that where there is dialogue, it is the narrator speaking to himself; "'Steady on!' I said. 'These candles are wanted'". This creates tension as it makes it seem as though the narrator is reassuring himself that nothing bad is going to happen to him.Tension is also affected by sentence structure. H. G....

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