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The Red Room By H.G. Wells

2376 words - 10 pages

The Red Room by H.G. Wells

The title 'The Red Room' immediately attracts the reader's attention;
it is symbolic but leaves unanswered questions. ?What is the red
room?? Is this room dangerous? Overall the title raises so much
curiosity wanting us to read on and find answers to our questions. Red
is a very strong colour and is generally associated with blood,
danger, warning, hell, and above all, fear, the title also shows the
setting of the story. It makes you wonder why the room is called the
red room and if it is actually red.

The Red Room contains all the elements of a ghost story; the story is
written to illustrate the nature of fear and is an insight into how it
affects the human mind. This story contains all the features of a 19th
century novel; it is set in an old derelict house, it involves moving
through dark passages, and it involves a ghost/haunted room. It also
contains all the features of a good short story. It has an effective
opening, a realistic setting, a limited number of believable
characters and has a plot with a clear conflict, a plot that builds
suspense, excitement, and the plot has a twist at the end. The story
is structured to create and sustain suspense, from the very beginning
right through to the climax of the story where the man is overcome by
total darkness.

The Red Room is based upon the myths concerning a haunted room within
an old derelict castle.

The story is told in first person, which makes it very personal and
allows the reader to feel as if he/she were there. It is about a young
man who volunteers to go and stay overnight in the ?Red Room?. The
room is known to be haunted and there are many myths and legends about
death that are brought up during the story. The night chosen is a
particularly bad night to go and stay there because it is the
anniversary of the death of the Duke who had once tried to stay in the
room.

?The great Red Room of Lorraine Castle, in which the young Duke had
died.?

The stories brought up have an effect on both the reader and the young
man in the story. For the reader it reinforces the feeling that the
man is doomed and for the young man himself, it shatters his nerves
and makes him aware of all the possible dangers that could seal his
fate if he enters the room.

There is only one main character in ?The Red Room?, and three minor
characters. The main character is not introduced to us in any way; all
we learn is that he is a 28 year old and is at this castle to prove
his manhood by staying overnight in a ?haunted room?. We do not know
how he came to be at the house or whom he is trying to prove himself
to. He is, at no point in the story given a name. This is done on
purpose, to create a mysterious and uneasy atmosphere, but within the
first few lines of dialogue we understand that he is a very confident
and boastful man:

?It will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.?

However brave he says he is, he carries a gun...

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