Suspense In Robin Hobb's The Liveship Traders

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THE URGE TO KEEP TURNING THE PAGE: A Narratological Analysis of how Suspense in Robin Hobb’s The Liveship Traders In recent years, technology has evolved to become ubiquitous, which has made it easier and easier to fall into spirals of quick gratification. It only takes a click on a mobile device to switch between one momentary distraction and the next. This has given rise to the modern myth that people’s attention spans are becoming shorter. However, Cramer (web) says that there is more to people’s attention spans than lack of ability to concentrate; she demonstrates her claim by referring to that people watch whole seasons of TV-series during the weekend. Consequently Cramer concludes, “The problem isn’t your audience’s attention span-it’s your content.” Arguably cliff-hangers are part of the successful concept that keeps people engaged. Something exciting, something that remains unresolved happens at the end of an episode, and the urge to know what happens next takes the audience in a firm grip. They are asked to wait to learn the answer to the query the story has opened, but the wait feels unbearable. They are left with a feeling of anxiety, …show more content…

One of its strengths is that it has the period of waiting that is needed for suspense to rise built into its form. The story follows four characters, switching between them: Kennith, an unscrupulous Pirate Captain; Althea Vestrit, a Trader’s daughter, who is snubbed of inheriting the family’s magical ship; and Wintrow, Althea’s younger brother, who had his heart set on becoming a priest, but instead has to work on the family’s ship (Hobb). Each character faces difficult situations, and at the end of each section something about their situation is hinted at, but not resolved, which leaves the reader in suspense until it becomes that character’s turn to be the focus of the story once

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