Suspension Of Disbelief Essay, Research Paper
Suspension of Disbelief
An author can encourage us to suspend our disbelief or purposely discourage us to do so. A good example would be the way an author describes something to us. For example, if an author vividly describes an event, a setting, or a character this would be effective in suspending the reader s disbelief.
I thought Edgar Allan Poe did a very good job in the Tel-Tale Heart, of suspending disbelief. The one particular event that exemplified this was at the end of the story where the main character described what he was feeling. He said, almighty God! no, no! They heard! They suspected! They knew! They were making a mockery of my horror! this I thought, and this I think. But any thing was better than this agony! I felt that I must scream or die! And now again! 0 hark louder louder! Louder!
This scene is meant to bring the reader into the story and have us feel what the character was feeling. Therefore, by doing this, it suspended our disbelief.
As I ve stated already, there are also ways to avoid suspension. In Guy de Maupassants The Necklace, I found a very good example. The main character Mathilde seemed to change as the story went on. I believe that this is due to the lack of description that Maupassant offers. For example, in the beginning of the story he makes the reader have a sense of sorrow for her by saying things like she had no dresses, no jewels, nothing. She so has liked to be pleased, to be envied, to be charming to be sought after.
These types of descriptions made us feel sorry for Mathilde, however later in the story she is portrayed as a greedy person. She begins to act selfishly by making her husband give up his gun, and, a dress wasn t enough for her, she wanted jewels. This type of confusion about the character caused us to avoid our suspension of disbelief.
The reason an author will use tactics to suspend or unsuspended our disbelief is clear. It ties into the way the author wants us to perceive the story. An author may want us to have room or use our imagination, therefore, holding back all specific details. Or, it could be that the author wants us to see the story no other way than he does, therefore, providing specifics.