How does Ray Bradbury use language to create tension?

Essay by blademaster January 2004

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Ray Bradbury uses a lot of different techniques to create tension in his short story, "A Sound of Thunder". The techniques used are adjectives, adverbs, verbs, metaphors, similes, short sentences and he varies the sentence structures to create tension.

The first technique Ray Bradbury uses is Adjectives. He uses them in lists of three, "... great oiled, resilient, striding legs." This emphasizes that part of the description and it has more effect on the reader because it creates a strong image.

Secondly, Ray Bradbury uses interesting verbs to great effect. He uses verbs like, "flushed", "murmured", and "pronounced". This contrasts from the boring "he said", and it also describes how the character reading the speech says it so there is a more detailed description of how the speech is read.

Thirdly, the writer uses adverbs in the text to allow a better description of verbs. This also helps to clarify the verbs.

An example of this is, "... jerked angrily."

Ray Bradbury uses metaphors to enhance descriptions. "Its mouth gaped, exposing a fence of teeth..." This helps create a better image in the reader's mind because he describes the Tyrannosaurus Rex's teeth as something else that is easier to express.

The writer uses similes to create tension. "... Sheathed over in a gleam of pebbled skin like the mail of a terrible warrior." This technique is good because it also, like the metaphor, helps the reader to create a mind-image of what is happening in the text.

Bradbury uses short sentences and short paragraphs to a great effect so create tension. A good example of this is:

"Suddenly it all ceased, as if someone had shut a door.


A sound of thunder."

This creates tension because it makes the reader, read the sentences faster. This makes the...