How does the author create suspense in "The Open Window"?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The author creates suspense by using a narrative style that is unique and characters who are believable. The narrative structure is that of frame story. Usually, in a frame story we have one narrator and it is impossible to check to see if that narrator is truthful. Here, Vera seems to be truthful when she tells Nuttel the story of Mr.Sappleton and the hunting party but as the story progresses, the reader sees her for what she is: a liar who is either bored or malicious or both. The irony is that poor Framden Nuttel never stays around long enough to see the joke that has been played on him but the reader is let in on the joke. Suspense is also created because Vera and Nuttel are both believable characters and, at first,the story she tells is a suspenseful one itself. It is only at the end, when she begins another story to explain Nuttel's quick departure, that we fully understand her character. But the readers are the only ones let in on the joke. Nuttel and Mrs. Sappleton still think Vera is a good, normal young lady. This leaves us wondering what she will be up to next.