The following sample essay on I am going to write about three stories with a gothic genre. The first story is called “The Red Room”. “The Red Room” by H. G Wells is about a man who doesn’t believe in supernatural beings and is about to spend a night in the most haunted castle. Charles Dickens wrote the second story called, “Confession Found in a Prison”. It was about a man who killed his nephew because the young boy reminded him of the boy’s mother, who never trusted him, he couldn’t cope with the boys anymore and so he decided to murder him.
The final story, “The Superstitious Man’s Story” was written by Thomas Hardy and it is about a man who is thought to be dead, however, everybody keeps seeing him around the village and it is almost as if he is in two places at once. Gothic stories are stories that include elements like blood, murder and other scary elements.
It is also a story that includes superstitions and supernatural beings. Gothic stories were extremely popular in the Victorian era because the Industrial Revolution was changing, therefore, everybody wanted to escape from all the reality of the world they lived in, this is called escapism. Another explanation is because of Charles Darwin’s theory. Charles questioned the religious explanation of the creation of human life by coming up with a theory of evolution where each animal evolves from another. Not only did the people want to escape from the possibility that their belief in the incredibility of God’s powers might be non-existent, they also wanted to explore the possible beings that might exist because people were thinking that if the evolution theory was true, anything could be true.
The Gothic stories that were being produced were so different and extra-ordinary to what they were used to reading that they found that reading the books was exhilarating and like a new world. There are many different gothic elements used in “The Red Room”.
These gothic elements are what make it a traditional gothic story. These gothic elements are murder, ghosts, darkness, the haunted house which the man stays in, the fact that the man is in there alone, the firelight meaning there isn’t much light, legendary deaths, the colours that are in the red room like black and red, the shadows, blood, the setting is at night, there are candles used, the moonlit corridor, the description of the passage which is “the chilly, echoing passage”. In “The Red Room”, there are many techniques used such as personification, this is used when H. G Wells includes the line, “A monstrous shadow of him crouched upon the wall and mocked his actions”. This is personification because shadows can’t crouch upon a wall and mock somebody’s actions. The author does this because it makes the character feel like there is somebody else there in the room with him in the red room. The technique reflects real life because we see shadows all the time, everywhere we go and it makes the character feel more anxious. The character in play doesn’t believe in supernatural beings like ghosts and this makes the character begin to question his beliefs. Another technique used is a metaphor, there is a metaphor used when the author was describing a candle, he wrote, “My candle was a little tongue of flame in its vastness”. This is a metaphor because the author was comparing the character’s candle with a tongue of flame; this makes the character feel intimidated, lonely, paranoid, scared, vulnerable and isolated because there isn’t much light and it really enhances the darkness of the setting. Another technique used is a simile, the simile used in the story is, “and as I thrust the candle between the bars, darkness closed upon me like the shutting of an eye”.
There is also a personification in that quote but the simile ensures that the reader can picture exactly what the vision is like. It makes the room seem very dark and it makes the reader feel intimidated and the character would feel scared, frightened and again it makes the reader and the character question their beliefs. A further example of a technique used is repetition. The example of repetition in the story is when the old characters keep on saying, “it’s your own choosing” at the beginning of the story, just before the man goes to the red room. It is as if the old people want him to go in to see what it is like but they wouldn’t go in themselves so they are therefore warning him of the possible dangers of going in there. The repetition builds up the suspense because it makes the reader carry on reading because they want to find out what it is like in the red room and why it is so dangerous in there and they want to know the history of the red room. They want to find out about the legendary deaths that took place in that room.