Significance of Suspense in Narratives

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Write about the significance of the ways three writers you have studied create and use suspense in their narratives. In order to answer this question, the definition of suspense must be settled. Oxford dictionary refers to it as “a state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen”, while Francois Truffaut puts it as “the whodunit is a question of what – “you simply wait to find out who committed the murder” – while suspense is a question of how…” Clearly, suspense plays a major role in dramatic works of media – whether that be a book or a play, for that matter. Nevertheless, this essay will explore the significance of suspense in The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, and some works of Robert Frost. In Kite Runner, the author uses suspense to keep interest with the reader, and mark out the most critical points in the narrative. One of the tensest moments in the novel is in Chapter Twenty-Two, where the ‘Talib’, who we later find out is Assef, confronts Amir. Certainly, all the emphasise is put towards the line “Whatever happened to old Babalu, anyway?” But, suspense is not the exact line, but more so the activity around it. Amir’s reaction –“My legs went cold. Numb.”- and the atmosphere is what puts the reader to ‘the edge of his seat’. The short line creates a static image of Amir simply trying to comprehend the whole situation, while the reader may also be guessing at his thoughts. Also, this situation seems quite ironic and unexpected, but this point is to be covered in a separate essay. Suspense is more about the driving force of the reader’s anxiety about the situation, or what may follow it. Amir’s reaction is incredible, because it gives a physical description of what he is feeling, so that the reader may imagine it clearer. By appealing to the senses, the narrator can show the world of Amir in that “large, sparsely
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