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The Elements Of Building Suspense In Gore

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In the short story “Gore” by Sarah Ellis, the author makes the atmosphere very suspenseful mostly through the use of literary devices. The readers can empathize with the protagonist, Amy because of her dramatic acting which escalates the tension within the reader. Amy, the main character is not very fond of her twin brother Lucas who is the complete opposite of her and one day steals her book then locks himself in the bathroom.

Amy is extremely intrigued by the book which is why she tries to get the book by pretending that she is getting abducted by strange beings. Lucas eventually ends up believing the figment of her imagination through her impersonation skills and gets out of the bathroom. In “Gore”, Ellis effectively uses many different techniques to get the readers into believing the illusion that Amy made up in her mind about supernatural beings. The use of techniques also delivers Amy’s emotions to the reader to build up suspense. All of this gets the readers hooked into the story and help them decipher the situation distinctly. This can be seen through the often use of imagery and foreshadowing.

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There is plenty of imagery provided by Ellis for the readers to have a better grasp of what is going on. She extends the part where Amy is with strange beings and makes it descriptive to keep readers on their toes. One of the examples of imagery is when the supernatural beings get in their house and start to feed Amy disturbing food, while, Lucas is still in the bathroom. When Amy describes the stranger’s scent and says, “The fetid stench. The noxious reek. It is the smell of something dead, sweet and rotten.” (Ellis 3). This quote infers that the scent of the aliens is disgusting and unpleasant to understand Amy’s feelings clearly. Her descriptive words to describe the alien’s odour makes the readers reflect emotionally on her feelings and if it is true. Another example is when the aliens grab her wrist and pulled her away from the doorknob that she is holding onto and says to come with them. Amy describes there voice as strange as says that “The voice as dry and white as paper” (Ellis 2). This quote helps the audience understand that their voice sounds weird and feel like they are in this situation along with Amy experiencing it themselves as well.

All the examples that are given above appeal to the audience’s five senses because of Ellis’s word choice, thereby making the reader feel like they are experiencing the situation themselves.

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The Elements Of Building Suspense In Gore. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2023, from
“The Elements Of Building Suspense In Gore.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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The Elements Of Building Suspense In Gore [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Dec 9]. Available from:
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