Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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How is suspense created in the short story "How It Happened"?

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Arthur Conan Doyle tries to create the required suspense, and has been quite successful at that, in his short story How it Happened by writing the story as a first person account.

The main character of the story is the one narrating it. The story's plot is that the gear...

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Arthur Conan Doyle tries to create the required suspense, and has been quite successful at that, in his short story How it Happened by writing the story as a first person account.

The main character of the story is the one narrating it. The story's plot is that the gear system of the narrator's new car stops functioning which forces him to take a dangerous route to his house and he finally crashes the car through the gate of his house.

As the narrator continues to speak, the reader doesn't feel that anything has happened to the narrator and is under the impression that he has been able to save the life of his chauffeur and his own by the clever way in which he drove the car.

It is only in the last paragraph when the narrator talks about looking at one of his long dead friends and having a conversation with him that it suddenly dawns upon the reader that the narrator is dead and has been speaking in another form.

“Stanley!” I cried, and the words seemed to choke my throat —“Stanley, you are dead.”

He looked at me with the same old gentle, wistful smile.

“So are you,” he answered.

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