How Does Andy Weir Build Suspense In Mark's Temporary Home On Mars

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Injured and left for dead, alone on the planet Mars, can Mark Watney survive for more than one year until help arrives? Mark is the main character, and he is on Mars throughout all the book. The problem is that he doesn’t have enough food to live on Mars until NASA can rescue him. Trouble started when he was out exploring with his crew during a dust storm when a piece of equipment broke and hit him. Lewis [the commander] and the crew escaped the dust storm, assuming Mark had died. Mark faces a series of struggles such as growing food, making water, and repairing the HAB [Mark’s temporary home on Mars]. Andy Weir, the author, uses a good mix of suspense and humor to engage the reader in Mark’s struggle for survival.
Andy Weir is an American
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Oftentimes, Andy Weir builds suspense by allowing everything to go right for Mark and it looks like he’s going to live after all, and then everything falls apart and it looks like he’ll just die. An example of this is when NASA has finally been able to communicate and then Pathfinder [a device that allows Mark to communicate with Earth] dies. The text states, “Pathfinder’s dead. I’ve lost the ability to contact Earth. I’m on my own” (Weir 228). Readers never know what could happen next in The Martian, whether it will be good, bad, or something else. For Watney, problems pop up right after they end, and one small mistake could be the end of him. An example is, “I’m screwed, and I’m gonna die! … I’m writing this to you … from Rover 2. You may wonder why I’m not in the Hab right now. Because I fled in terror, that’s why” (Weir 35). Furthermore, anyone who sees the sentence, “I fled in terror,” it’s impossible to just put the book down and read more the next day. Andy Weir keeps people hooked until the end. In The Martian, the suspense is intense. There is always some question going through reader’s brains whether it’s, “Will the supply shuttle make it to Mars?” or simply, “Is Mark going to
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