The Monkey's Paw and The Red Room
During the time of the 19th century that "The Monkey's Paw" and "The
Red Room" were written, many unusual events occurred and which could
not be answered or explained because science and human minds had not
developed enough to answer questions or prove any unusual events that
occurred. The society would try to come up with answers and
explanations to the paranormal events that occurred. In some cases,
they were able to come up with answers, which in our time we would
think are incorrect and idiotic because we all ready know the answers
to a lot of them. In addition, the society in the 19th century was
quite confident in believing that what ever they heard and the answers
they came up with had to be correct.
"The Monkeys Paw" which is written by W. W. Jacobs and "The Red Room"
which is written by H. G. Wells, both of these writers create tension
and suspense in their stories.
Within both 'The Monkey's Paw' and 'The Red Room' the same major
themes are magnified.
The reader can witness the events progressing in the story using vivid
imagery of sound as a major theme; however it is ironic that within
the story itself there is very little communication between the
characters. In a story where sound plays such a major role, each
character listens to each other with deaf ears. Hence tension is
created. As the reader witnesses in advance the lack of communication
which will be the down fall of the family. This is exponentially
magnified as the story progresses.
The weather plays a major role in foreboding the future events of the
story, "The beastlyâ€¦cold and wet" atmosphere contrasts the snug fire
burning in the small parlour.
Here we see the family attempts to shield themselves from external
influences. But the real challenge to be overcome lies within the
"Out-of-the-way" villa that they have locked themselves into.
The tension builds from the outset with father and son indulging in a
game of chess.
The game of chess acts to deepen the tension. As we are introduced to
the characters, we can already see them challenging each other. This
conflict of character will prove to be an important theme as the story
The entrance of the sergeant (an outsider) enhances the tense
atmosphere. He symbolises an outside force which will disrupt the
The sergeant teases the White family's imagination with his knowledge
of distant lands, "Those old temples and Fakirs and jugglers". The
White family have been brought up on such fairytales such as "Arabian
"His three listeners leaned forward eagerly" to indulge in playful
tales. The suspense is only truly made reality when the sergeant
exhibits the Monkey Paw to the White family up to this important
perspective; it has been merely made believe.