‘They seemed to belong in another age… when omens and witches were credible, and ghosts beyond denying. ‘ It is obvious that the narrator of this story thinks that the old people are slightly warped and old fashioned to believe that such an illogical thing as a ghost is present in the castle. He most likely thinks that because they are so much older than him, they have been lead by old tales from back then, when such things as witches and ghost were more conceivable.
The ‘Old custodians’, especially, are alike to the unnerving feel of the castle by the description given by the author. One of the ‘old custodians’ in The Red Room, the old woman, regards the narrator as an unquestionably nave young man. ‘Eight and twenty years you have lived and never seen the likes of this house… many things to see when one’s eight and twenty. ‘ From the language the old woman uses in this quote, it is evident that the she is confident that the man has much to experience yet as he is still very early into his life.
She is convinced that he will have a swift change of mind when he has witnessed the demoniac phantoms within the room. This idea that the woman is portraying is building on the suspense of the story by hinting at the reader that the main character may be in for an unpleasant surprise. The man with the ‘withered arm’ is a peculiar character within the story, who takes the young man for a fool for willingly going into the room. ‘If you go into the Red Room tonight… you go alone.
‘ The man with the ‘withered arm’s first impression of the narrator is that he knows little about what he is letting himself into and should be warned prior to exploring the notoriously haunted Red Room. By warning the man that it ‘is his own choosing’ and that he will be unaccompanied whilst exploring the castle, the man with the ‘withered arm’ gives an obvious indication that everybody is terrified of what lies in the room, creating suspense in which way the tale will turn.
In Desiree’s Baby, the main character, Desiree comes across as a harmless young lady, who is perhaps sometimes oblivious to the real world. ‘This is not the baby! ‘….. ‘I knew you would be astonished at the way he has grown! ‘ In actual fact, Desiree’s mother was not confounded about the rate at which the child had grown; she was shocked at how dark the baby had got since when she had previously seen him. However Desiree was so blissfully ecstatic at how immaculate her new life was, she had somehow not acknowledged the mysterious change in the young child’s complexion.
With this curious trait of Desiree’s in mind, the reader cant help but wonder what else she will fail to notice and if it will become an important part of the storyline. The author, Kate Choplin characterizes Desiree so she is intensely overjoyed at her current status in life and nothing could dampen her mood. ‘Oh mamma, I’m so happy; it frightens me…. [What Desiree said was true]’ At this point in the tale, Desiree is shown to be floating in a ‘cloud of happiness’ with her home, baby, husband and life in general.
However it is common for there to be an unfortunate twist in the tale in most stories, so already suspense is waiting along the story as to whether the author will bestow the woman with an unfavourable turn in her fate, or whether all will end well. Desiree’s husband, Armand seems to be a man that could be quite unpredictable and could potentially change the storyline immensely. ‘He hasn’t punished one of them since baby is born. Even Negrillion, who pretended to have burnt his leg. ‘
From this quote alone, Armand appears to be an innocent, genuinely happy man, but earlier on in the text, it is written that he uses a firm hand with his ‘negroes’ and this sudden change of character suggests maybe that there is more to come from this man. Armand could be considered a suspicious character and whilst reading, one naturally views him as untrustworthy, adding tension to this already gripping plot as to whether he will continue to be the loving man he has transformed into, or his dubious character will develop.
Armand has had yet another unexplained and bizarre change in his behaviour, mostly towards his wife. ‘Do you want me to go? ‘… ‘Yes I want you to go. ‘ The way this curious man has changed his attitude towards his wife for no apparent reason has furthermore brought out his uncanny personality, not only contributing to the vivid plot, but intensifying the tension to a climax. What is Armand up to now and why does he wish for his wife to leave their family home, is a question being arisen. The reader is yet to discover why he wants Desiree to leave him and if she will actually go, adding anxiety to the atmosphere.
Moving onto setting in 19th century stories, The Necklace contains exemplary detail to setting which I will be scrutinizing throughout the upcoming paragraphs. A good setting is extremely necessary, in this story in particular, because the main scenario is unravelled around the idea of the contrast between different classes ‘The run down apartment they lived in, the peeling walls, the battered chairs and the ugly curtains. ‘ This is quite an impressive quote, as it becomes quite clear that the surroundings the Loisels live in are not exactly as Madame Loisel sees them to be.
This idea of an unsightly home, as how she regards it are a compelling way to begin the story as the reader later learns that the ungrateful Madame Loisel’s standard of life can decrease quite alarmingly by one much-deserved mistake. There is a vast contrast in settings between the previous story and the Red Room which will be unveiled in my next explanation. .In the Red Room, the atmosphere is shown to be dark, dingy and mysterious to an extent to the description of the setting has to effectively reflect this aspect for the story to become successful.
‘The long, draughty subterranean passage was chilly and dusty, and my candle flared and made the shadows cower and quiver. ‘ I have chosen this as an example from the text because the writer has successfully captured the mood and feeling of the whole building by conveying how the narrator was panic-stricken by the view around him and how he is made fearful from something as natural as a shadow. Tension is created in this piece by letting the reader take in the visionary description of the setting and wonder what he will encounter as he continues his journey to the Red Room.