The Door in the Wall Summary

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Sarah White
Mr. O’Donnel
AP Literature
09 December 2011
The Door in the Wall
1. Plot: Lionel Wallace confides in his friend Redmond that ever since childhood he has been haunted by the sudden appearance of a mysterious door. This door led him to a different world, much better than the one they live in. However, once he leaves it, he never returns, though he is offered the opportunity three times. He deeply regrets never entering again. He is found dead from an attempt to once again live out this “illusion.” Redmond, however, believes that there may have been truth behind Wallace’s “imaginary” door. 2. Character: Wallace is the protagonist. Once a lonely child, he found comfort in his imaginary world. The rest of his life is consumed in the attempt to reenter it. Redmond does not quite believe his friend, but does not think that he is crazy either. 3. Narrative perspective: The story is told using a first-person perspective. Redmond, the narrator, is looking back at what Wallace confided in him and reconsidering his words. The story jumps from present day to the past several times. 4. Idea: The main theme is science versus imagination. Wallace’s story is seen as impossible by scientific standards. However, not when considering imagination. Just because Wallace could not prove that the door existed, does not mean it was not real, even if only through his eyes. 5. Author: H.G. Wells was born in London England in 1866. Wells developed a strong interest in science, as well as writing. Both his non-fiction and fictionalized stories are influenced by science and his strong hope in humankind.
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