Ella Leffland Writing Styles in Last Courtesies

Ella Leffland
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This section contains 461 words
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Suspense

Suspense in this short story is created out of fear of others. Vladimir is so eccentric he is hard to understand. His emotions are unstable and some of his actions are unsociable. He is as likely to explode as he is to read poetry or play a piano composition by Bach. So when the story focuses on the unpredictable Vladimir, readers feel a sense of the unknown, which contributes to the suspense.

The initially peripheral neighborhood murders also cause suspense. Two women are killed and their bodies mutilated. The reader wonders if Jody or Lillian will be next. The reader wonders who is the murderer. As the suspense builds, readers may suspect Vladimir is the criminal. He admits not liking women, and he is the most obviously irrational person in the story. So his visiting Lillian engenders concern for her safety. When Lillian opens the door, the brief...

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This section contains 461 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Last Courtesies Study Guide
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