The story of ‘Farthing House’ was written quite recently

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The story was written in 1992/93. The story is about a residential home. The place has quite a history through the years. The story is about a lady who is visiting her aunt who lives in the residential home.

The story of ‘The Red Room’ was written quite along way back. It was written in the 1980’s, which means it is quite an old story. The story is about a brave young man who is in a castle with three old custodians. He is planning to go to a room in the castle, which the three custodians say is haunted.


The two stories both belong in the same genre. They are both ghost stories, but different in a kind of way. The story of ‘Farthing House’ is more of a mysterious story than a ghost story, although there is a ghost sighting in the story.

The author Susan Hill takes a more modern approach to the story. At some points of the story the reader is not told exactly what is going on. This is because the author’s technique is to reveal the story slowly. The author reveals a little and then stops and changes the subject completely. This shows that the story may be about a ghost but also is about tension and mystery.

The story starts in the present and then goes onto the past and near the end comes back to the present. Also several times in the story the writer writes the word ‘you’ but the reader does not know whom this you is. This proves that the story is a little bit of a mystery to. Some parts of the story that are mysterious are when the lady in the story has a flash back. ‘something that had been drifting on the edge of my conscious blurred and insubstantial, came into focus, and in a rush I remembered….’ At this point the reader does no know what the flash back is about because of the way the story started.

Although most of the story is really mysterious at the beginning the story carry’s on to be quite mysterious. Another example is when the lady was going to enter the house, she felt a sudden shudder ‘ I felt somethig else and it made me hesitate before ringing the bell.’ The writer here is not exactly telling or explaining to the reader what the feeling was and how it made the lady feel. In a sense the writer is playing mind games with the reader.

The story of ‘The Red Room’ is a much more classical type ghost story. The writer takes a ghostly type approach to the story. The story was written in 1986. The story has quite a number of parts where it is all about tension. This has quite an effect on the reader. The story features quite a number of things that a typical ghost story should have e.g. Old deformities ‘ I half suspected the old people were trying to..’ a lonely and isolated place and is in the dark seasons (winter).

The story does not have a sighting of a ghost but has quite a lot of tension. Some parts in the story where there is a lot of tension is when the first candle in the room goes out ‘ it was after midnight the candle in the alcove went out.’ At this point there is quite a lot of tension and suspense. The reader goes on high alert for the next moment in the story.

Another part where there is quite a lot of tension is when all the candles were out except for the fire. When the fire goes out, again there is quite a lot of tension and suspense. ‘ I turned to where the flames were still dancing between the glowing coals, and splashing red reflections over the furniture, made two steps towards the gate, and incontinently the flames dwindled and vanished.’ Again there is quite a lot of tension at that part of the story. The reader now is quite hyped up for the next moment because the reader knows that now the room is pitch black.

The story is also quite mysterious to but the writer does not leave you out with information. The story does not exactly feature a ghost but yet is more of a ghostly type story than the story that features a ghost (Farthing House).

Both stories have taken place in a room. One room is haunted but the other is not. In both stories the room plays quite a role. The history of the rooms in the both stories is also important.

The author of ‘Farthing House’ takes a modern approach and the author of the ‘The Red Room’, H G Wells, takes a ghostly type approach to the story. I prefer ‘The Red Room’ because I think it is quite effective. It does everything else apart feature a ghost. This proves that the story does not have to feature a ghost even though the story is meant to be a ghost story.


Both stories,’Farthing House’ and ‘The Red Room’ are written in first person. For example the author narrates the story. The reader can tell because the letter ‘I’ is used throughout both stories. For example, the first line in the story of ‘Farthing House’, ‘I have never told you any of this before…’. This tells the reader that the author is also narrating the story.

The fact that both stories were written by the narrator, this way the reader can learn a lot more about the narrator. One narrator is a loving and caring and is not on the agreeing side or disagreeing side that ghosts do exist. The reader knows that this author is like this because in the story the information given out. ‘I always loved her, she was such fun.’ Another example to show she was not on the agreeing side or disagreeing side that ghosts do exist is’ I had never either believed or disbelieved in ghosts, scarcely ever thought about the subject at all.’ The other narrator is much more cocky. He thinks too big of himself. He also does not believe in ghosts and also thinks that no ghost can scare him. The reader knows the author is like this because it mentions it in the story. ‘I can assure you,’ ‘that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.’ By this information the reader how both are like.

In general the narrator of ‘Farthing House’ is much nicer than the author of ‘The Red Room’. In a way she is much caring and loving. The reader can tell because she is going to visit her aunt, Aunt Addy. The reader knows she is going to visit her aunt Addy because at the beginning of the story is actually mentions she is. ‘ I was going to see Aunt Addy.’ Another in which she is much nicer is because she likes to get involved socially, for example she talks to everyone.

The characters in ‘The Red Room’ and much ghost story type characters. They are more cliched characters than the ones in ‘Farthing House’. The reader can tell they are typical ghost story characters. The characters are old and weird. The reader knows they are old, weird and cliched characters because it is mentioned in the story. ‘the old woman sat staring hard into the fire, her pale eyes wide open’, ‘the man with the withered are’ and also ‘I heard the sound of a stick and a shambling step on the flags in the passage outside, and the door creaked on its hinges as a second old man entered, more bent, more wrinkled, more aged even than the first.’ The reader also knows that ghost stories have more-or-less the same type of characters. For example ghost stories always have old aged characters and a young aged character. The old aged characters are the ones who tend to be the wise ones and the young character is always the hero or heroine. By this the reader now knows exactly why they are cliched characters. The characters also use cliched sentences. For example ‘ tonight of all nights’ is a cliched sentence. Only the old, wise and clever people would say it.

The person in the story is also a ghost story type character. The reader should know this because in every ghost story there is always a hero or heroine. In the story ‘The Red Room’ he is the hero. The reader can tell because he acts cocky and also wants to try out a scary task. The reader knows he acts cocky and wants to carry out a scary task because in the story it says ‘I can assure you, that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.’ By this the reader knows he thinks he is a brave person. Also he seems very confident and aware of the task he is saying he will do.

The two authors styles are different. This because simply the time they were written in. For example the story of ‘Farthing House’ was written in the 1990’s and the story of ‘The Red Room’ was written in the 1890’s. Therefore the story of ‘ Farthing House’ is a more modern day story and the story of ‘The Red Room’ is an old fashioned and traditional story.

The story of ‘Farthing House’ is like a letter. The reader can tell this because in the opening paragraph it actually indicates it is a letter. ‘ and indeed, writing it down sealing it up in an envelope to be read at some future date may still not count as telling. From this quote the reader can tell that it is written in the style of a letter. The story is also very conversational. The reader can tell because the word’ and’ is used quite a lot. The word ‘and’ is a word which is used in real life conversations. A good place in the story for an example that the story is very conversational is when she was on her way to Farthing House. ‘ I had stopped twice, once in a village, once in a small market town and explored churches and little shops, and eaten lunch and had a pot of tea and taken a walk along the banks of a river in the late sunshine and the berries.’ In this quote the word ‘and’ is used a lot of times and it makes it seem like a conversation.

Also the way the way the story is written is very different. It starts of in the present and how the smell made her remember what had gone down in history, then goes on to the past and tells the reader the story she had just remembered and then in the end finishes on the present again and explains about a news paper article.

The story of ‘The Red Room’ is a lot different than ‘Farthing House’. The story is told chronologically. So it tells the story in the order as it happened. The story is also a traditional ghost story. It’s also traditional to tell a tale chronologically. The author, H G Wells doesn’t play time tricks on the reader. It first sets the scene and also gives a lot of information on about the characters and how they behave. For example it makes it obvious the story is set in an old building like a castle. The story then works it way to an end where it all builds up to climax.

The style I prefer is the style of ‘Farthing House’. I like the style quite simply because it urges the reader to read on and also makes the reader think questions like then what happened. I preferred the style because I personally hate reading books that go in chronological order. I like books that make the reader think and also books that have mystery in them.


The story that I find more realistic is the story of Farthing House written by Susan Hill. I find it realistic because most of the story’s content is more-or-less believable.

The story of ‘The Red Room’ is more cliched and unrealistic. The story is another example of a typical ghost story. For example, nowadays stories are not set in castles or any other ancient buildings. They will be set in modern day type buildings, which are haunted, if it is a ghost story. The characters in the story are also cliched. Nowadays in a ghost story you get old men or women looking after a big building. The characters are cliched because they are used characters. In the sense that nearly every single ghost story will have them as their top three characters.

In ‘Farthing House’ most of the story is believable. This is because you can imagine a young woman in her 20s to go to an old folks home to see and old relative, in this case her grandmother. Also old folks homes be boring and isolated far away in the countryside. The story is also realistic at the start because you can imagine burning some leaves for a bonfire and a smell could bring back some memories that happened in the past.

One particular bit of the story that is likely to be believable is when she is leaving Farthing House. ‘I left for home after breakfast, having arranged that aunt Addy can come to us for Christmas. She did so and we had a fine time.’ In the quote quoted the reader can imagine the story to be true because of the way the story is written, also because of the times in the past and how the author refers to them and writes them.

However the ending in ‘Farthing House’ is not believable. The ghost sighting is not believable and nor the ending. For a fact I believe the ghosts don’t exist and are only a made up idea. But the way the author presents the ending and the ghost sighting in the story, it feels though it is real and believable. Even though you may not think it is actually true, it feels though it is because the way the author writes them.


The language of the story the ‘The Red Room’ is very archaic and old-fashioned. Some of the words used exist but have almost gone from our modern day vocabulary. Words like ‘postulated’, ‘scones’ and ‘fancied’ have nearly gone and changed meaning. The word postulated was referred to as guessed in the story. The word scones have completely gone because nowadays we don’t have candleholders and even if we did we wouldn’t call them candleholders. Nowadays the word fancied means if you desire something but in the story it was used for if you thought you heard something or thought of something.

The words ‘wanted’ and ‘incontinently’ know have a complete different meaning. The word wanted no longer means needed and the word incontinently no longer means all at once. In fact the word incontinently know means if you have no control over your own bladder which can possibly lead you to something very shameful and also can be embarrassing.

Also the order has changed. In the story it has a couple of sentences, which nowadays would be said the other way round or in different way. For example instead of saying ‘said I’ you would say I said and also instead of saying ‘ eight and twenty years I have lived’ you would say I have lived twenty-eight years. This shows the language is very archaic in the story. Another old fashioned and archaic sentence is when he stopped on the corridor. Instead of saying ‘then with my hand in the pocket that held my revolver’ you would nowadays say then with my hand on the revolver that was in my pocket.

The story of ‘Farthing House’ is a story for an educated person. Words like ‘anxieties’ which means worries, ‘melancholy’ which means sad and ‘insubstantial’ which means nothing really to it are words for an well educated and mature person.

The sentences in the story ‘The Red Room’ are very long and complex. The sentences contain lots of subordinate clauses, semi-colons and lots of long winding expressions. A good example of these kind of sentences is ‘I must confess that the oddness of these three old pensioners in whose charge her ladyship had left the castle, and the deep tone old-fashioned furniture of this housekeeper’s room in which they forgathered affected me in spite of my efforts to keep myself at a matter of fact place.’ This sentence uses a lot of archaic language.

The use of subordinate clauses and semi colons are used to. The sentence it self is a very long winded one as well. It wavers around the point and uses a lot more words than needed. For example nowadays if the sentence was to be re-written it would be like this. I must confess that the oddness of these three old pensioners who were left in charge of the entire castle by her ladyship and in the housekeeper’s room in which they forgathered, affected me in spite of my effects to keep myself at a matter of fact place.

In today’s audience it would be a very hard sentence for the reader to grasp. This is because nowadays we are not used to sentences that go rambling on, instead we are used to sentences that get straight to the point trying to be made.

The sentences in the story about the red room are much longer and old-fashioned than the short sentences in the story of Farthing House. The sentences in Farthing House are much more straightforward and easy to read even though the vocabulary is more mature. The story, in terms of language is much more conversational and chatty. It involves the reader in the story too. The reader should be able to tell this because the word ‘you’ is used. Whereas the sentences in the story of the red room are much more long winding and complex to read and also understand. The language is also archaic too. The sentences use a lot of semi-colons and nowadays stories hardly use semi-colons. They also don’t get to the point actually trying to be made. Some straightforward sentences in the story of Farthing House are ‘it was still so cold my breath made little haws of white in front of my face’ and also ‘now I knew I had seen one’.

The old-fashioned language used in the story of ‘The Red Room’ does not prevent the reader from reading the book. Also the conversational tone of the story of ‘Farthing House’ seems appropriate for the story. The languages used in both stories tend to make me personally read on.

I would prefer the language if H.D wells story ‘The Red Room’ simply because I think the language used suits the story type. I preferred it because if modern day language was used in the story the story will not be as good and also will lose the tone and style of the story. Also it would be very boring and the fact that nowadays hardly anyone believes in ghosts.

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