How does O. Henry use suspense in "The Furnished Room"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In O. Henry’s “The Furnished Room,” the reader is kept in suspense about the history of the room rented by the nameless protagonist. Initially, it is made known to the reader that the young man—the protagonist—needs a room to rent. The housekeeper shows him to a room at the back of the third floor of her building. The young man, since he is quite tired, pays “for a week in advance” and immediately occupies the room. Up until this point, the young man’s room is simply referred to as “the room.” However, immediately after he takes possession of the room, the writer calls it “the furnished room.” The reader is then made aware of the fact that this particular room is important as it is the basis of the title of the story.

As the young man reposes in “the furnished room” he suddenly becomes aware of a “strong, sweet scent of mignonette,” a scent that his beloved, whom he seeks, loves. The young man knows that “the furnished room” is speaking to him, telling...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 601 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team