Dramatic tension, also known as suspense, is a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety about the outcome of certain actions, most often referring to an audience's perceptions in a dramatic work. Dramatic tension causes a story to rise in action, most likely starting out slow and building up conflict as it moves toward the climax. According to the Internet, there are four types of dramatic tension: the tension of relationships, the tension of the task, the tension of surprise, and the tension of mystery. We can see examples of these four types of tension in the film The Wages of Fear, as well as in the narrative A Good Man is Hard to Find.
The tension of relationships is usually in every genre of writing, mostly in romance, and women’s fiction, but we can see relationship tension from horror films to fairy tales. The basic relationship tensions are through mother/daughter, father/son (vise-versa), girl/guy, between friends, and between an individual and a social group. In the film The Wages of Fear we can see friendship tension between the Frenchmen Mario a Jo and Mario and Luigi, as well as boy/girl tension between Mario and Linda. There is also much tension between a group of men and Mario when Mario starts to hang out with Jo. In the reading, A Good Man is Hard to Find there is clearly tension between the two children, June Star and John Wesley, and the Grandmother. The tension also seems to be between the Father and the rest of the family, despite the mother, which is more of a flat character. We can see the tension grow between the family and the father as the story goes along. Towards the end of the story the tension is at a peak when the family realizes that they are in the midst of a cereal killer, and end up being killed in pairs.
The second type of dramatic tension is the tension of the task. This is where your hero, or main character is given a task to do; however there are obstacles placed in the way of finishing their task. In The...
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