The Mousetrap question: Agatha Christie was a
master of suspenseful writing. In The
Mousetrap, she uses the play’s setting, the events of the plot, and a
flurry of false facts to build and sustain suspense. What is the effect of
these techniques? Write an extended response in which you explain what suspense
is and why it matters in mystery writing. Then consider how each of these three
techniques contributes to the play’s suspense.
As you answer, use a five-paragraph structure. Introduce the work and
explain what suspense is and why it matters in the first (introductory)
paragraph. End this first paragraph with a thesis about Christie’s use of the
three techniques of suspense. Then, in the second paragraph, discuss setting
and suspense. In the third paragraph, discuss how the plot events build
suspense. In the fourth paragraph, deal with how false information creates
suspense. Finally, conclude your essay with a brief paragraph in which you make
your thesis statement clear once again. Throughout your response, use details
from the play to support your ideas.