This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Tension And Fear In The Old Nurse's Tale And The Red Room

2008 words - 8 pages

Examine how Elizabeth Gaskell and H.G Wells build up tension and
convey fear in two gothic short stories; The Old Nurse’s Tale and
The Red Room.

Gothic fiction emerged in the late eighteenth Century. A Gothic story
is a style of fiction characterized by the use of desolate or remote
settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent incidents. In most gothic
stories the writer challenges the intersection of the supernatural and
the rational and inspires dread and horror. In this essay I will
examine how the writers of both ‘The Red Room’ (H.G Wells) and ‘The
Old Nurse’s Tale’ (Elizabeth Gaskell) build up tension and convey
fear. I will compare both stories by examining the similarities and
differences between the two as well as using my personal opinion to
decide the most successful story which builds up the most tension and
most fear.

Changing the mood during a story makes it more exciting and less
predictable which captivates the reader’s interests and builds up a
great amount of tension. Both stories show evidence of significant
mood change, which created a successful amount of suspense when I read

‘The Red Room’ effectively begins in medias-res, which is very
effective as from the very first sentence there is an immediate cause
for concern. It also effectively attracts the immediate attention from
the reader’s interest and from the very beginning we become aware the
story is gothic and are instantaneously caught up in the suspense of
the story. The story begins at a steady climax and rises up into a
state of absolute climax. Throughout the story it has many jumps of
suspense until the reader is left shrouded in it. There are
supernatural occurrences from the very beginning of the story and they
become more intense with time until the narrator is left in ‘a state
of considerable nervous tension’. In contrast with the darkness the
story ends in daylight-normality, away from the deep, dark, chilling
passageways and the power of the darkness in the room, so therefore
the ending is not gothic. The ending of the story has a slight twist.
One might expect a more conventional ghost at the end of the story but
what is found in the room is fear itself. I did not think the ending
was very effective as it provided a rational explanation for the
events in the story and so did not leave the reader in a state of
fear. However, the ending did effectively allow the reader to think
about what was being conveyed and perhaps helped the reader to relate
more to the ending.

In contrast; in ‘The Old Nurse’s Tale’, Elizabeth Gaskell uses a
journey to build up suspense, in order to increase tension in a slow
and steady climb. This is an effective technique as it enables the
reader to become more attached to the characters, so the character’s
feelings are more likely to be mirrored in the reader’s mind. We also
become more familiar with the story as it provides more background
information. The supernatural...

Find Another Essay On Tension and Fear in The Old Nurse's Tale and The Red Room

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 Sense of Mystery and Fear in Herbert George Wells' ‘The Red Room’

1277 words - 5 pages repetition of the phrase 'It's your own choosing.' This implies that the custodians know something about the ‘Red Room’ that the narrator does not. This repetition is used by Wells to ensure that the point is emphasised. Equally Wells shows the old lady’s concern in brackets aside ‘This night of all nights’ which inserts more tension for the reader and makes it seem that there is something indefinite about this specific night. It is also important

The Creation of Fear and Suspense in 'The Red Room' by HG Wells

3216 words - 13 pages the red room is set in an old, derelict castle- Lorraine Castle in which a young duke has died. This setting already suggests a mystery and immediately contributes to suspense in the story. The meaning of fear is when one is afraid to face up to their phobia. HG Wells wrote the story in 1896 and the following essay will discuss the genre, the structure, the setting, the language used the atmosphere and also imagery

How is Suspense and Tension Created in "The Monkey's Paw" and "The Red Room" by William Wyman Jacobs

2067 words - 8 pages main action of the story.In contrast to 'The Monkey's Paw', H.G Wells' 'The Red Room' gives the description of characters a more prominent role in creating atmosphere aswell as differences. The structure of the story also creates and sustains suspense. In the opening of the story, the characters are vividly described, the old woman for example, `the old woman sat staring into the fire, her pale eyes wide open.' This shows there is fear in the old

The Element of Fear: Dickens´ The Signalman and Wells´ Red Room

2097 words - 8 pages Charles Dickens’ ‘The Signalman,’ and H.G Wells’ ‘Red Room’ are both short stories written to grip readers through the element of fear. Both tales were written near the end of the Victorian era, during Queen Victoria’s reign. Victorian Britain had a liking for literature, including short stories. Short stories were idyllic because they were a source of instant entertainment, the type required in technologically withdrawn times. People were also

Pre 1914 Gothic Horror Stories: Techniques Used in Writing The Tell Tale Heart and The Red Room

914 words - 4 pages The Tell Tale Heart and The Red Room are two short stories that share the genre of a gothic horror story. They are both based in the nineteenth century but the plots are very diverse from one another. The Tale Tell Heart tells the story of a man driven to insanity by his landlord’s eye whereas The Red Room is a story about an ignorant man whose disbelief in ghosts leads to him spending the entire night in a haunted room with ominous consequences

Tension and Atmosphere in The Red Room by H.G.Wells, The Signalman by Charles Dickens and A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

2531 words - 10 pages , description of characters & use of language. The Red Room is a tale of a man on a quest to discover the truth about the legend of 'The Red Room' in Lorraine Castle, as the young man's fate unfolds the audience are led with him, they feel his fear, hear his thoughts and experience his terror. 'The Red Room' has such a mystery behind it, fear itself nearly leads him to his death. A tale that lacks warmth and everything about it instils

How the Authors Create a Feeling of Fear and Terror in The Ostler, The Red Room and The Superstitious Man's Story

1343 words - 5 pages How the Authors Create a Feeling of Fear and Terror in The Ostler, The Red Room and The Superstitious Man's Story In order to answer this question I read the relevant stories, i.e. 'The Ostler' by Wilkie Collins, 'The Red Room' by H.G. Wells and 'The Superstitious Man's Story' by Thomas Hardy in great detail. I will now attempt to compare the methods the authors have utilised to create the impact mentioned above. In order

Common Elements in Elizabeth Gaskell's The Old Nurse's Story and in Christian Rossetti's Goblin Market

1292 words - 5 pages Aside from the five themes of Democracy, Gender, Culture, Empire and Industrialization, the sixth theme, Victorian Gothic, provides just as much of an overview of the Victorian time period. This new theme appears in Elizabeth Gaskell’s short story, The Old Nurse’s Story and Christina Rossetti's poem Goblin Market. Both works illustrate common elements of Gothic literature, such as; old houses, mystery, horror, ghost, fantasy creatures, the

Tension and Fear Throughout "The Monkey's Paw"

1459 words - 6 pages How does the author create fear and tension in the story? . Brief summary of the plot (not more than one paragraph) . Look at each part of the story explaining how tension and fear is created. Think about language, climax/anticlimax, gothic features, setting and use of sense. . Conclude by giving your thoughts and feelings about the story and how successful you think it was as a gothic tale. The monkey’s paw is a

The Red Room and The Signalman

2977 words - 12 pages Gothic stories - The Red Room and The Signalman how do the authors create tension and an atmosphere of fear? Gothic Stories ============== In this essay I will be discussing a number of things. Firstly, I will be discussing what Gothic writing is and then I will move the discussion towards the subject, which my essay consists of, 'in the novels "The Red Room" and "The Signalman" how do the authors create tension and an atmosphere of

Similar Essays

Exploring How Hg Wells Created An Atmosphere Of Fear And Tension In 'the Red Room'

1771 words - 7 pages while the old people continue to assume that the room is haunted by a ghost, people who occupy the red room will also see that the room is haunted. The author is suggesting that fear is in the imagination, and that if you think that there is going to be something there, your imagination will tell you that there is.I think that Wells is very successful in creating an atmosphere of fear and tension. His use of language and sentence structure is

Tension And Suspense In "The Red Room" H.G Wells

1095 words - 4 pages The Red RoomSetting and historical influence -The author starts the story in an eerie room lit by the fireplace in which 3 withered custodians are gathered around. - This gives the impression that the room is quite cold.The fact it is set in a big mansion, back in the nineteenth century, that is owned by 3 old custodians, already adds mystery as he makes them out to be very grotesque.The house is very old and derelict, not homey at allIt has

Fear In H. G. Wells' "The Red Room" And The "Red Room Episode" In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

546 words - 2 pages novel. H. G. Wells starts off his book with a conversation between the narrator who will then go on to ender the read room, and a group of pensioners who give him several warnings that he should not enter the red room due to its haunted nature. This conversation creates a sense of fear and tension as the reader is informed that the room the narrator is about to enter is indeed haunted and, due to the Gothic status of this book, the events

Tension In The Red Room, The Cone And The Superstitious Man's Story

2851 words - 11 pages and the description that we get of them adds to the tension. The people seem scary and make us feel that something bad will happen, involving the various characters. For example, in 'The Red Room' when the man is there in the house he meets various old people, who all have a frightening image: "He supported himself by a single crutch; his eyes were covered by a shade, and his lower lip, half-averted, huge pale and pink from his decaying