Cliffhanger plot device

History[ edit ] The cliffhanger plot device dates back to the famous medieval Arabic literary work, the One Thousand and One Nights. Cliffhangers are often used in television seriesespecially soap operas that end each episode on a cliffhanger. Prior to the early s, season-ending cliffhangers were rare on U.

Cliffhanger plot device

Cliffhanger Definition of Cliffhanger A cliffhanger is a plot device in which a character or characters are left with a difficult dilemma or a shocking revelation at the end of a chapter or section.

Authors Cliffhanger plot device cliffhangers in order to encourage the reader to keep turning pages to find out what happens, or to buy the next book in a series.

The novel was an example of the popular style of the time, serialized fiction. These types of novels were published one chapter at a time in weekly or monthly periodicals. To keep readers interested and wondering what would happen next, Thomas Hardy left his protagonist Henry Knight hanging off a cliff at the end of one of these sections.

Thus, the definition of cliffhanger had a literal meaning at the beginning; readers wondered if Henry Knight would escape, and how he would do so. Common Examples of Cliffhanger Cliffhangers are very popular in television shows and movie series.

Advertisers have also picked up on the tradition, and have incorporated examples of cliffhangers in certain ads so that potential customers will be interested enough to visit their websites to learn more. Cliffhangers are arguably most popular in soap operas, which are charged with the difficult task of keeping viewers coming back day after day, week after week, year after year.

Here are some notable cliffhanger examples from television and film: Burns getting shot at the end of the sixth season. During the summer between the sixth and seventh seasons, viewers were tasked with guessing the culprit, who was revealed in the first episode of the seventh season.

Cliffhanger plot device

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring—The first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy ends with the fellowship splitting up unexpectedly into three groups.

Viewers are left in suspense about what will happen to the kidnapped hobbits, and if Frodo and Sam will reach Mount Doom.


Viewers had to wait for three until the truth was revealed and the plot was tied up. Cliffhangers are perhaps most common in certain genre fiction, such as mystery, thriller, and adventure novels.

However, there are examples of cliffhangers in countless works of literature. Interestingly, there is a psychological effect known as the Zeigarnik effect which states that people who have been interrupted in a task remember it better than a completed task.

Thus, there is some psychological evidence that readers and viewers will not only be more interested in what happens next in a serialized work, but will also remember the details better. Examples of Cliffhanger in Literature Example 1 Meantime the suitors went on board and sailed their ways over the sea, intent on murdering Telemachus.

Now there is a rocky islet called Asteris, of no great size, in mid channel between Ithaca and Samos, and there is a harbour on either side of it where a ship can lie. Here then the Achaeans placed themselves in ambush.

The Odyssey by Homer As referenced above, even this early and classic text contains a famous example of a cliffhanger. Example 2 And the King was astonished, and said to him, What causeth thee to weep, O youth?

He answered, How can I refrain from weeping, when this is my state? He then said, Know, O King, that the story of the fish is extraordinary; if it were engraved upon the intellect, it would be a lesson to him who would be admonished: In fact, most of the cliffhangers do not end in the sense that there is grave danger.

Instead, many tales end with a character promising to tell a new interesting story which will illuminate the previous one. Such is the case with the excerpt above.A cliffhanger is when a story or plotline ends suddenly or a large plot twist occurs and is left unresolved.

Clear definition and examples of Cliffhanger. This article will show you the importance of Cliffhanger. A cliffhanger is a plot device that is used to keep the audience intrigued and anxious to find out what happens next. Essentially, the cliffhanger puts the protagonist or the lead character in a precarious situation and leaves them in that situation, which creates enough suspense to compel the reader to read the next chapter or book to see how.

Cliffhanger plot device

Oct 26,  · The cliffhanger ending as a suspense-building plot device eventually found its way into the world of silent films. Serials such as The Perils of Pauline routinely featured heroes or heroines trapped in seemingly inescapable situations, with the resolution only one more reel of film away.

What is a Cliffhanger? (with pictures)

Cliffhanger. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better. Add extension button.

Definition of Cliffhanger

That's it. The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. May 22,  · A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode [1] of serialized fiction.

A cliffhanger is hoped to ensure the audience will return to see how the characters resolve the dilemma. Cliffhanger Definition. A cliffhanger is a type of narrative or a plot device in which the end is curiously abrupt, so that the main characters are left in a difficult situation, without offering any resolution of .

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