How does the author Richard Connell create suspense in the first few pages of the short story "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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In the first few paragraphs of the short story, the ominous setting and dark subject matter discussed between Whitney and Rainsford creates suspense. At the beginning of the short story, both Whitney and Rainsford are traveling on a yacht in the middle of the Caribbean Sea during an extremely dark, eerie night. Rainsford mentions that their surroundings are like "thick black velvet," which adds to the suspenseful conversation regarding the "God-forsaken" island that they are passing. Whitney proceeds to describe the foreboding island by telling Rainsford that it has a terrible reputation, which makes even the crew "a bit jumpy." Whitney then says he believes that evil is sometimes a tangible thing. He thinks that the nearby island broadcasts evil vibrations. After Whitney heads below deck, Rainsford hears gunshots coming from Ship-Trap Island, which also adds to the suspense of the story. Overall, the suspense in the first few pages is created by the ominous setting, the dark subject matter of Whitney and Rainsford's conversation, and the enigmatic gunshots Rainsford hears coming from Ship-Trap Island.

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Authors use many techniques to create suspense, but one of the most common is the use of setting. To answer this question, you need to ask yourself " what is it about this story's opening that makes me curious, or anxious to know more and continue reading". 

In the first few pages you have a setting involving a dark moonless night in the Caribbean that is described as being like "moist black velvet". This gives the setting an exotic location and the extreme darkness creates an uncomfortable situation. There is also the conversation of "Ship Trap Island" and how the island has a reputation so horrifying that Whitney states that "even cannibals wouldn't live in such a God-forsaken place". This gives an element of danger to the story. All of these details in setting, plus many more, help develop suspense. 

You can also look at the conversations between Rainsford and Whitney and pull more details from characterization that make you want to read on. 

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