How Does Steven King Create Suspense

Decent Essays
Individual Study
Compare the ways Steven King in The Shining and William Friedkin in The Exorcist use techniques to create suspense.

Steven King in his 1977 novel The Shining and William Friedkin in his 2001 film The Exorcist establishes that suspense can be created in many forms while both being equally effective in its own right. Although the characters are faced with a horrific dilemma in two very different settings, the techniques used to create suspense can be similar. In both texts suspense is produced through characterization, narrative structure and foreshadowing to create a state of anxious uncertainty for what may happen. While the characters within The Shining are placed in a traditional horror setting, where they are isolated.
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Overcome with rage Karras takes the demon with him through a window and down the grey stair way, ultimately defeating it.
In The Shining the hotel is mentioned within the first chapter, as Jack is being interviewed. However, it is only until chapter 4 that the reader is allowed a glimpse of the terrible things to come. Delaying the suspense allows for proper character development which will prove important in the long run. The word REDRUM, as stated previously was shown in chapter 4, it is a key word in the book that is repeated countless of times. Every time this key word appears it is accompanied by fear, Danny’s fear. By introducing it so early into the story it pushed the reader to ponder the words meaning and because of its sinister association every time it was brought up more suspense was built up. It is later revealed that it was murder spelled in reverse. In both texts the authors use an anti-climax principle that is highly effective in creating suspense in the viewer. It works for a system of false alarms followed by the real danger. An example of this is during Jacks possession and he remembers that he had forgot to ‘dump’ the boiler. There is a race against the clock to save the hotel, which is already building up suspense with questions of will he make it. As he dumps the boiler it seems that he had got there in time, this in turn takes the tension away from the reader until suddenly the hotel blows. This is a good example of how suspense is used to create
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