Tension in The Red Room, The Cone and The Superstitious Man's Story
'The Red Room', The Cone' and 'The Superstitious Man's Story' are all
short stories which were written before 1914. 'The Red Room' and 'The
Cone' were both written by H.G. Wells and 'The Superstitious Man's
Story' was written by Thomas Hardy. All three of these stories were
written in Victorian Times (1837-1901). These were years of great
scientific and technological developments. The authors of the three
stories show us a diminishing belief in superstition and supernatural.
The authors of 'The Red Room' and 'The Superstitious Man's Story' have
written the stories in the style of a gothic one, although they don’t
end up being supernatural. However, 'The Cone' has been written with
no gothic features, but it shows technological development as the
title itself contains the word 'Cone' which is part of industrial
terminology. Also, the setting is industrial and shows the
'The Red Room' is about a man who goes to a house and in particular a
room which is seen to have ghosts in it and, therefore, no one goes in
that room. However, this man goes in to prove there is no existence of
a ghost. We find out that no ghost is present in the room and there
never has been and it's just that fear has overcome the person.
'The Cone' is about a man and woman who are having an affair. Tension
is created as the man and woman who are having an affair are not sure
whether the woman's husband has found out about what is going on. At
the end the woman's husband kills the other man and then after
throwing him off a bridge on top of the hot, melting iron at the
bottom, he realises he has done something terribly wrong. In contrast
'The Superstitious Man's Story' is a story which is based upon
supernatural beliefs. It is about a man named William who dies.
However, people reveal that they saw this man's ghost got to church on
The opening itself creates tension as it puts the reader into the
place of the character. All three stories start of with dialogue which
raises the question to us, the reader, of what has just gone on and
what is going to happen next. This makes us read on. In 'The Red Room'
it begins with the narrator saying:
'"I can assure', said I, that it will take a very tangible ghost to
This quote shows that the man is not scared, but we are not sure what
is going to next and we want to find out if he gets scared by the
ghost in the room if there is. We want to find out what might happen
to him. We read on to find out what will happen. Similarly, 'The Cone'
starts with dialogue and makes us wonder what has just happened. This
is when the man and woman are talking to each other:
'"The man and woman spoke to one another in low tones. 'He does not
suspect?' said the man, a little nervously.' Not he, 'she said
peevishly, as though that too imitated her."'
This puts us in the shoes of the...