Techniques Used to Create Tension in I’m the King of the Castle

753 Words 4 Pages
Question 1(a)

What technique does Susan Hill use to create tension in I’m the King of the Castle. Refer closely to the two incidents in the novel to illustrate your answer.

Susan Hill implements a couple of writing techniques to create tension in the novel. Tension n this sense simply means mental strain or excitement in the readers. One of the techniques used is shown when she uses a third-person narration to narrate the story. This narrator is omniscient and implies that he/ she is not one of the characters in the novel and at the same time know everything that is running through the characters’ minds. Hill uses this technique to bring the readers on a journey of moving freely in time and space to allow them to know
what
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This leaves the readers clueless and anxious to know about his plans because they know that
Hooper has something scarier than the spider in mind to frighten
Kingshaw. The readers are then told that Hooper “stroked it” and
“lifted the thing up carefully” because “it was very large” thinking that “it might disintegrate”. This arouses feelings of suspense and excitement to know what that “thing” might be because Hooper “was a little afraid of it himself” and he did not dare to hold it near to his body. The readers were only allowed to know what that “thing” was when Kingshaw turns on his bedroom light and sees the stuffed crow.
Due to the lack of knowledge and understanding about Hooper, readers tend to share Kingshaw’s confusion and fears about the mysterious
Hooper.

Another technique used by Susan Hill is that of triggering the five senses in the readers. A very good example was when Kingshaw runs away to the tin shed in despair, Hooper jumps at the chance to lock him in the shed and lead him on to hallucinating about his surroundings causing the atmosphere to be intensely frightening. The shed was
“airless and very dark” and “it smelled faintly of pig muck, and old, dried hen pellets”. With “no window, no light at all”, the readers have an increased awareness of Kingshaw’s predicament and when he
“stuffed his fist into his mouth, in terror”, the readers begin to place themselves in his
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