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Alexis Johnson


English 9H

October 16, 2016

Quarter One Suspense Essay

Within stories, authors commonly use techniques to create suspense. Suspense drives the

reader through the story because the reader is curious and wants answers. The short stories The

Cask of Amontillado, The Lady or The Tiger, and The Most Dangerous Game all use

different techniques to create suspense such as red herrings, cliffhangers, and setting.

Throughout The Cask of Amontillado, the author Edgar Allan Poe utilizes the

technique of red herrings to create suspense. Red herrings throw the reader off track of the

central idea. For example, one red herring used is the wine. At the beginning of the story it states,

He liked to drink good wine, and indeed drank much of itI too knew old wines well (Poe

68). The reader, throughout the story was convinced Montresor would poison Fortunato with

poison in the wine. However, Montresor actually used the wine to lure Fortunato and killed

Fortunato is a totally unexpected way. For instance, Before Fortunato could guess what was

happening, I closed the lock and chained him tightly to the wall (Poe 71). The red herring

technique created suspense because the reader was waiting for one thing to happen, but an

entirely different thing happened. In conclusion, one technique used to create suspense was red


The short story The Lady or The Tiger by Frank Stockton creates suspense by leaving

the reader with a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger leaves the audience with an unanswered question.

This technique adds suspense to the story. For example, Without the slightest hesitation, he

went to the door on the right and opened it (Stockton 3). The quote leaves the reader wondering
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what was behind the right door. To continue, this question lingers to the end of the story. For

instance, And so I leave it with all of you: which came out of the door the lady or the tiger?

(Stockton 4). By making this the end of the story, the author created suspense. The reader is

never truly sure what came out of the right door. Overall, the cliffhanger technique in The Lady

or The Tiger created suspense.

Within The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, suspense is created by using

setting. The eerie, dark setting makes the reader anticipate bad things. For example, Even

cannibals wouldnt live in such a God-forsaken place (Connell 1). Starting from the first page of

the short story, the audience is engulfed by nerves because of the dark, isolated island setting.

Furthermore, The lights of the chateau were out now, and it was dark and silentThere

weaving in and out of shadow, were black, noiseless forms; the hounds (Connell 10).

Rainsfords high room and dark, guarded surroundings make the reader on-edge. The story has

now reached a suspenseful moment where the reader is anxious to see how the mysterious setting

foreplays into the plot. In conclusion, the setting in The Most Dangerous Game was a

technique used to create suspense.

Overall, different techniques are used in stores to form the element of suspense. Suspense

leads the reader to the end of the story because the reader wants answers. In conclusion, the

short stories The Cask of Amontillado, The Lady or The Tiger, and The Most Dangerous

Game use different techniques to create suspense such as red herrings, cliffhangers, and setting.
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Works Cited

Connell, Richard Edward. The Most Dangerous Game. Mankato, MN: Creative Education,

2001. Print.

Poe, Edgar, and Bryan Glaser. The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe: Storyteller.

Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 1980. Print.

Stockton, Frank. The Lady or The Tiger And Other Stories. New York: Charles Scribers Sons,

1914. Print.

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