Tension and suspense in "The Red Room" - H.G Wells

Essay by emilyjismHigh School, 10th grade November 2007

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The Red Room

Setting 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 all

It has many dark, long passages and spiral staircases, like on the journey to the Red Room.

The use of the word 'subterranean' suggests there's a room underground that is very dark, enclosed and creepy.

".. and the door creaked on it's hinges as a second old man entered" - It is typical for any mystery house to have creaky doors to add a dramatic and tense effect to who or what is entering or moving.

Once the narrator receives directions, he heads for the door, "As I did so, the old man with the shade rose and staggered around the table, so as to be closer to the others and to the fire. At the door I turned to look at them and saw they were all close together, dark against the firelight, staring at me over their shoulders, with an intent expression on their ancient faces". - What the narrator says describes the custodians and the room itself. The people are crouched over a fire as they conspire almost, as he walked out of the room. As he's doing so, the narrator almost seems scared of being in complete darkness. "I left the door wide open until the candle was well alight and then I shut them in and walked down the chilly,