AP English Literature and Composition
Boot Camp Essay #2- Plot
the following short stories- “ The Destructors”, “How I Met My Husband”,
and “Interpreter of Maladies”
Suspense is the quality in a story that makes readers
ask “What’s going to happen next?” or “How will this turn out?” Such questions compel them to
keep reading. In more literary forms of fiction the suspense often involves not
so much the question “what” as much as the question “why”—not “What will happen next?”
but “Why is the protagonist behaving this way? How is the protagonist’s behavior to be explained in terms of human
personality and character? The forms of suspense range from crude to subtle and may involve not only actions but psychological
considerations and moral issues as well. There are two common devices writers
use to create suspense: they introduce an element of mystery (an unusual set of circumstances for which the reader craves
an explanation) or they place the protagonist in a dilemma (a position in which he or she must choose between two courses
of action, both undesirable) (Perrine’s 105-106).
In a well written essay analyze and compare/contrast how suspense is created in each of the 3 stories
and discuss how the author’s technique affects your understanding of the work. Avoid mere plot summary.