Comparing this to the film, these words could describe the shark at the beginning of the film while it is moving under water, as it is just swiftly swimming with no harsh movements. The opening passage also contains a complex sentence. This helps to draw out suspense in its varied description of the fish such as stating ‘it could have been asleep’, it lacked the flotation bladder common to other fish and that it survived only by moving, which gives a suggestion that the fish is ‘different’. In the next paragraph the land is described:Order now
‘All that separated sea from shore was a long, straight stretch of beach… ‘ This makes the fish seem a possible threat because it shows how close it is to the land, and how anyone could be the next victim of the shark if they decided to go for a swim… which is exactly what the woman decided to do next! The story then follows on, introducing the man and the woman. As in the film, they are drunk, making them more vulnerable. Both people are happy and as portrayed n the film, the happiness is expected to be destroyed, as this is a horror story.
The woman then leaves the man and goes for a swim; this section takes us through the woman’s actions. She is then described entering the sea, although much more fear is conveyed, as we know the shark is lurking around in the sea, the woman is calm and relaxed as she in unaware of the shark and the fact that danger is so close to her. At this point if anything did happen to her, we would sympathise because the woman was in a happy and carefree mood. Her happiness is soon to be destroyed in such a disastrous way.
The author then refers back to the fish confirming its presence in the water: ‘a hundred yards offshore. ‘ The fish is a ‘primitive’ creature as we are told it relies on its instincts and as this creature detects vibrations, we know the woman has no chance of escape. This part could show the point in the film where the woman is seen from the shark’s perspective. The woman is now back in the story. She is described as swimming in the sea unaware of the shark and imminent danger. The author creates an impact using a short sentence: ‘The fish turned towards shore. ‘
This helps with the suspense as it is a straightforward sentence and tells us the one main fact, which is in a way ‘life threatening’. Throughout this section we are not given the woman’s name which means she is reduced to just a human body and has no role apart from being the shark’s prey. At this point a long sentence is put in which delays the action making the audience extremely anxious and wanting to read on. This fish is once again in the next sentence, described as being physically adept and more powerful than the woman. This is the point where we are almost certain the woman will be eaten.
The next section introduces the woman. Throughout this time the fish and woman were introduced one at a time, but now they are finally in the same sentence. His proves to building up gradual suspense. The main technique, that is used to build suspense, is the way the author delays all the action which is just what is done in the next paragraph, where he mentions the woman feels ‘nothing further’ and ‘resumes her lurching stroke’. Some active verbs are also used such as ‘sharp’, ‘broke’, and cut, this could be a sign of what may happen to the unknown victim by the shark.
Once more the author refers to the fish and the word ‘now’ is used. This indicates immediate action. During this point not only do we want some action but we sympathise for the woman as her feelings are described bringing ‘mixed emotion’s to the audience. The woman is attacked but not instantaneously and the attack is drawn out. However, in comparison to the film, the woman’s death is more vivid as the author describes it in depth, using complex sentences to express her terrific death. Whereas in the in the film we only get to see her head above water.
To conclude my essay, I think the novel and film create suspense in different ways. Both film and novel have an impact in the way they present tension and suspense. In my opinion, I would say the novel has a greater effect. This is partially because while reading we can take sentences such as ‘her torso was ripped apart’ and create our own scene in our mind. Whereas in the film the picture that is portrayed is the one, which we will accept. Even though the film can use dramatic music and flashing effects, the novel can build up gradual anxiety to keep the reader keen.