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Sara Moon

Mrs. Davenport

English 9 Honors

October 16, 2016

Suspense Essay

What is going to happen next? is a question the reader asks him or herself when in

suspense. Suspense is a feeling of uncertainty over what will happen next. Authors can use

different techniques to create suspense. In The Most Dangerous Game the author used pacing

to create suspense, in The Cask of Amontillado the author uses the readers mood to create

suspense, and in The Lady, or the Tiger? the author uses imagery to create suspense.

The Most Dangerous Game is a short story written by Richard Connell. To create

suspense, he used the pacing of the plot to create suspense. Connell wrote Rainsford held his

breath. The generals eyes had left the ground and were traveling inch by inch up the tree.

Rainsford froze there, every muscle tensed for a spring (12). The author takes time to write

about the moment that could change Rainsfords fate forever. The pacing slows down and the

reader is in suspense over what could happen next. Connell later wrote Ever nearer drew the

hounds. Rainsford forced himself on toward that gap. He reached it. It was the shore of the sea.

Across a cove he could see the gloomy gray stone of the chateau. Twenty feet below him the sea

rumbled and hissed. Rainsford hesitated. He heard the hounds (14). Again, Connell slows down

the pacing leading up to a very suspenseful moment. Rainsford could die in this moment by

either the fall or the hounds, or he could not die at all. The next paragraph talks about using the

readers mood to form suspense.


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In The Cask of Amontillado the author uses the readers mood to build suspense. The

Cask of Amontillado is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. To create suspense, Poe wrote

He looked uncertainly around him, trying to see through the thick darkness which pushed in

around us. Here our brightly burning lights seemed weak indeed (70). The mood in this quote is

uncertain or even anxious. Bad things tend to happen in the dark and the reader is in suspense

over what that bad thing could be. This quote also creates the mood We could see the bones of

the dead lying in large piles along the walls. The stones were wet and cold (Poe 70). The mood

of the reader is disturbed and afraid. The reader is most likely disturbed by the fact that dead

bodies are lying around everywhere and is suspense over if Montresor will add Fortunato to his

collection of dead bodies by getting his revenge and killing Fortunato. Instead of using mood to

create suspense, this next short story used imagery.

The Lady, or the Tiger? uses a great deal of imagery to create suspense. Frank R.

Stockton wrote the short story The Lady, or the Tiger? He wrote How often, in her waking

hours and in her dreams, had she started in wild horror, and covered her face with her hands as

she thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the cruel fangs of the

tiger! (3). The imagery in this quote is used to show how much the princess would loathe to

have her lover choose the tiger. Later in the story, But how much oftener had she seen him at

the other door! How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when

she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady! (Stockton 3). Just like

before, this quote also shows that the princess detests the idea of her lover opening the door to

the lady. The audience is in suspense over which door the princess will chose to have her lover
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go through. She dreads the thought of both of the possibilities. She could to have her lover die or

get married to the woman she despises.

To create suspense, the author of The Most Dangerous Game used pacing, the author of

The Cask of Amontillado used mood, and the author of The Lady, or the Tiger? used

imagery. All of the different types of techniques were effective. They all made the reader feel

suspense.

Works Cited
Connell, Richard. "The Most Dangerous Game." Colliers. Ed. Archie Marshek. New York City:
Colliers, 1924. Print.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Cask of Amontillado. Edgar Allan Poe: Storyteller. Ed. J. H. Ingram.
Philadelphia: Godeys Ladys Book, 1846. 68-72. Print.
Stockton, Frank R. "The Lady, or the Tiger?." And Other Stories. New York City: The Century
Magazine, 1882. Print.