Great works of literature utilize many methods to keep readers interested. Suspense is often used to set up questions that the audience has to anticipate. Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One follows the journey of Wade Watts as he competes with millions of gunters to hunt for an egg. Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap follows characters in a guesthouse who are trying to figure out which one of them is a murderer. Both Cline and Christie use the literary technique of foreshadowing to create suspense, but Christie utilizes setting while Cline relies more on a limited point-of-view.
Both authors use foreshadowing to create suspense for readers. In Ready Player One, Wade has a dream where “they were coming to take the egg, and there was nothing I could do to stop them” (Cline 115). With this dream, the author foreshadows that Wade would face an enemy that was undefeatable. This makes the readers engaged since they are left to question if Wade will be able to defeat his enemies. In The Mousetrap, Christopher Wren says, “You never know what anyone is really like”. This line brings suspense to the novel because it foreshadows the unexpected identity of the killer. It allows the reader to open up their minds to think of all the possibilities This suspense makes readers eager to read more to find out who the killer is.
Christie utilizes setting to bring suspense while Cline relies more upon a limited point of view. In The Mousetrap, Christie uses the darkness in the murder of Ms. Boyle to add suspense. Once the lights go out, the readers are left anxious because they do not know who the killer is, and the author utilizes this doubt and fear to capture the reader’s attention. Using the character of Wade, the author uses his limited knowledge to leave the readers searching for clues in the riddles. Wade often has to uncover clues that many readers will try to find. Since it makes the readers think about the book, it is able to hold their attention.
Both Ernest Cline and Agatha Christie utilize foreshadowing and cliffhangers to introduce suspense in their writing, but Cline relies more on a limited point-of-view while Christie focuses more on the setting. These authors use suspense to keep readers entertained throughout the novel. Suspense is not only used in books and plays as many movies and tv shows also use suspense to keep viewers interested. Suspense is an essential part of any piece of literature because it keeps viewers and readers anxious to reach the ending.