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The Red Room

The Red Room


by H.G. Wells

The Man with the Shade

Character Analysis

The man with the shade is the oldest and probably the creepiest of the three creepy old custodians. He comes into the custodians’ quarters later (after the beginning of the story), which gives the narrator plenty of time to study him. We get the narrator's observations:

He supported himself by a single crutch, his eyes were covered by a shade, and his lower lip, half averted, hung pale and pink from his decaying yellow teeth. (7)

In the beginning of the story, the man with the withered arm doesn’t say much, although he does cough and splutter a lot. At the very end, he’s the one who speaks up and finishes the story with his pronouncement about "fear" and "this house of sin" (60). Unlike the other two custodians, he appears to have suspected it was fear that haunted the room, and not a ghost. Unlike the narrator at the beginning, however, he appears to have understood just how serious a force Fear is. Maybe he’s the wisest of all.

The Man with the Shade Timeline