How tension is built up and sustained in the red room, the speckled band and the ostler

Essay by little_nitlaHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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The Red Room

We as the reader are immediately attracted to the title "The Red Room" because it raises so much curiosity and leaves many unanswered questions. "What is the red room?" "Why is it red?" The colour red is associated with fear, danger and maybe even blood so is the room dangerous? Our minds can create so many thoughts about this one title that we are filled with an urge to read on to find the answers to our questions.

In a short story, we are influenced by the writers first and last lines, so they have to carry meaning.

"I can assure you,' said I, 'that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me."

From this first line, we see a glimpse of the characters personality. He is an educated man who may be stubborn and inexperienced, or quite wise. However, it is that the story already involves a ghost that prevents the reader from putting the book down.

A short story often gets straight to the point.

H.G Wells cleverly sets the scene in a warm and comforting environment. A large fire in the centre of the room makes you feel secure. The three old people huddled closely together provide the beginning of the story with a sense of eeriness that reminds you not to relax. We never find out their names and their unsightly features make you feel suspicious of them.

Tension is built by the opinions of the four people in the room. One younger man is skeptical about the red room being haunted whilst the elder three dare not even go in.

Repetition is a device used to build the tension:

"It's your own choosing."

"This night of all nights."

These are warnings to the young man to tell him he...