Analysis of Suspense, Surprise and Artistic Unity in Michael Crichton's 'Jurassic Park'.







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Dalam tugas akhir ini saya membahas sebuah novel berjudul Jurassic Park yang ditulis oleh Michael Crichton. Jurassic Park adalah sebuah buku yang bergenre Techno-thriller. Buku ini telah difilmkan oleh seorang sutradara yang bernama Steven Spielberg. Karena difilmkan, Jurassic Park semakin dikenal oleh orang banyak. Novel ini bercerita tentang sekumpulan orang yang berkunjung ke sebuah pulau untuk melihat dinosaurus. Sewaktu kunjungan, banyak hal buruk terjadi dan menyebabkan mereka dikejar-kejar oleh dinosaurus-dinosaurus yang ada di pulau itu.

Setelah membaca buku ini saya menemukan bahwa unsur yang penting dalam novel ini adalah plot, antara lain: suspense, surprise dan artistic unity. Saya memutuskan untuk menganalisis hubungan antara suspense, surprise dan bagaimana keduanya terhubung sehingga membentuk sebuah artistic unity yang masuk akal sehingga dapat dipercaya oleh pembaca. Selain itu, Michael Crichton menyajikan novel ini dengan ceritera yang terinci sehingga pembaca akan dengan mudah membaca dan mengerti ceriteranya.



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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Background of the Study ...1

Statement of the Problem ...2

Purpose of the Study ...3

Method of Research ...3

Organization of the Thesis ...3




APPENDICES: Synopsis of Jurassic Park ...21




Synopsis of Jurassic Park

The story starts in an island near Costa Rica named Isla Nublar, in which strange activities take place. Some people who live in the island near Isla Nublar are attacked by mysterious animals which are later known as InGen’s

experimental animals. InGen is a company owned by John Hammond. InGen performs experiments by cloning animals. Hammond has a plan to build a so-called theme park on Isla Nublar.

In opening the park, Hammond faces a problem: all of his investors are not convinced enough about his plan; therefore, they send a lawyer named Donald Gennaro to inspect the island. To prove that his island is safe for recreation, Hammond invites some experts from the main land to take a tour in the island. The experts on the list include Dr. Allan Grant, a paleontologist, Dr. Ellie Sattler, a graduate student studying under Grant who specializes in paleobotany and Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician. Hammond also invites his grandchildren Tim Murphy and Alexis “Lex” Murphy. Upon the arrival, the visitors



Since the electricity goes off all the dinosaurs can move freely; so, the park turns to be a dangerous place for all visitors. A tyrannosaur attacks the Convoys and causes the convoys to separate. Grant, Tim and Lex are forced to hide in the jungle because they are being chased by a tyrannosaur. Luckily, they can survive from all threats, and they plan to escape from the island through the raptor's nest. Biography of Michael Crichton

John Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 23, 1942. He is the son of John Henderson Crichton and Zula Miller Crichton. He spent his childhood life on Long Island, New York with his two sisters, Kimberly and Catherine, and his younger brother, Douglas. Michael Crichton has shown his interest in writing since he was young. At the age of fourteen, he wrote a column about traveling and published it in The New York Times.

Michael Crichton was a student in Harvard University; his first course was English Literature. However, he changed his subject because he had a problem with one of his professors. He changed his course to biological anthropology as an undergraduate and obtained his bachelor’s degree with summa cum laude in

1964. Then, Crichton continued his studies at Harvard Medical School and started to write novels under pen-names John Lange and Jeffery Hudson. He graduated from Harvard and got his M.D. in 1969, and he undertook a post-doctoral fellowship studies at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California from 1969 to 1970. Most of his writings are fictional, such as Jurassic Park(1993), The Andromeda Strain(1969), Congo(1980), Sphere(1987), Rising Sun(1992), The Lost World(1995), Timeline(1999), Prey(2002), State of

Fear(2004), and Next(2006). Moreover, most of his works were influenced by his studies in medicine and anthropology. He died on November 4, 2008 in Lost Angeles, California at the age of 66 because of cancer.



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Background of the Study

Michael Crichton is famous for his techno-thriller novel. He writes many best-seller novels and one of his famous novels that I will analyze in my thesis is Jurassic Park. Techno-thrillers are defined as:

Techno-thrillers are a hybrid genre, drawing subject matter generally from spy thrillers, war novels, and science fiction. They include a

disproportionate amount (relative to other genres) of supporting detail on its subject matter; only science fiction tends towards a comparable level of supporting detail on the technical side...They are often criticized for

overwhelming the human characters with machinery (Ishkhneli).



Maranatha Christian University The significant literary elements in this novel are the development of suspense, surprise and the connection between both of them to be plausible; therefore, while reading this novel one will always feel curious about what will happen next. Based on Perrine’s theory, there are three laws of plot in which a play or

novel must fulfill; hence, it will become a good play or novel. The first is suspense, which is “the quality in a story that makes the reader ask, ‘What’s

going to happen next? Or how will this turn out’ and such question compel them to keep reading” (Arp 109). The second is surprise; it is stated that “The surprise is proportional to the unexpectedness of what happens.” (111) In other words, surprise means the element of reader’s unexpectedness about the plot. The third

is artistic unity. It is said that

“artistic unity is essential to a good plot. There must be nothing in the

story that is irrelevant, that does not contribute to the meaning; there should be nothing there for its own sake or its own excitement….Authors place the story’s incidents and scenes in the most effective order, which is

not necessarily the chronological order (Although, when we place them in chronological order, they must form a logical progression)” (113)

Statement of the Problem



Maranatha Christian University Purpose of the Study

1. To reveal suspense in the novel. 2. To reveal surprise in the novel.

3. To show how artistic unity is presented in the novel.

Method of Research

I use library research for writing my thesis. First, I read Jurassic Park as the primary text. Second, I read as well as compile some references from the Internet to support my analysis of suspense, surprise, and artistic unity of the novel. Finally I arrive at some conclusions for my analysis.

Organization of the Thesis

This Thesis consists of three chapters, which are preceded by Abstract and Table of Contents. The first chapter is Introduction, which consists of Background of the Study, Statement of the Problems, Purpose of the Study, Method of Research, and Organization of the Thesis. The second chapter is Analysis of Suspense, Surprise, and Artistic Unity in Michael Crichton’s Jurassic

Park. The third chapter is Conclusion. Finally, the thesis ends with Bibliography



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After reading and analyzing the novel, I conclude that Jurassic Park is brilliant in holding the readers' attention. The book is full of suspense, so readers will always thrilled and curious to find out what will happen in the next page. In my opinion, the most important element in this book is the element of plot. Therefore, I will first conclude the development of suspense, second surprise and last the artistic unity. Based on my analysis, I have found six main suspenses. I divide them into three stages. The first stage consists of two suspenses, the second three suspenses and the third one suspense.

The first suspense is the story about Dodgson’s contact person in

Jurassic Park. He is presented as a mysterious man who is assigned by Dodgson

to steal some dinosaur’s embryos. This suspense is answered by a surprise that

Dodgson contact’s is actually Nedry, who is a programmer who design Jurassic



Maranatha Christian University The second suspense is when Grant finds pieces of dinosaurs’ eggshells. It is

said that all the dinosaurs cannot breed because all of them are female. This suspense is answered by a surprise that the entire dinosaurs apparently breed. The dinosaurs can breed because to complete dinosaurs DNA, Wu uses frogs DNA. I categorize these suspenses as the first stage. I conclude that at this stage Crichton wants to tell the readers that the park is no longer under control. The

raptors breed beyond the programmer’s expectation and the security system is

turned off by Nedry. Consequently, people in the park might be harmed by the dinosaurs.

The third suspense is when the tyrannosaur attacks the convoy. Malcolm, who gets out of the car, is attacked by the tyrannosaur; however, Grant, who is getting out after Malcolm, is not attacked. The tyrannosaur does not attack Grant because it cannot see unmoving object; therefore, it cannot see Grant when he stop moving. The fourth suspense is when the tyrannosaur catch Tim by its tongue in the small room behind the waterfall. Tim has been dragged out by the tyrannosaur’s tongue and he is almost killed. Luckily, the tyrannosaur uncoils its



Maranatha Christian University The sixth suspense is when Grant and friends are inside a raptor’s nest. A baby raptor sees them and starts to make a noise. The baby raptor attracts an adult raptor to come, yet the adult raptor leaves without doing any further search. I categorize these suspenses as the third stage. In this third stage I conclude that Crichton wants to tell the readers that this is the last suspense. This suspense leads the readers to the answer that they finally can escape from the island. I conclude that all the suspenses in the novel lead the reader to think about the survival of all people in the park from the dinosaurs' attack.

In my opinion, Jurassic Park is an excellent novel because it has a great development of suspense. I discover that the suspense is more significant than the surprise. Based on my analysis above, the suspense is systematically presented by Crichton, and all suspenses is answered by great surprises. In finding the suspense readers will find that it is logically answered by the surprise; therefore, readers will find the suspense thrilling and worth reading. Moreover, the topic of the novel is very interesting as it is about extinct dinosaurs. The novel has excellent details; they help readers to visualize the content. Hence, the readers will feel that the book is easy and enjoyable to read. He can write excellent details because he has pursued a further study about dinosaurs, as

stated in the novel acknowledgements. I conclude that Crichton’s success of this



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Primary Text:

Crichton, Michael. Jurassic Park. New York: Ballantine Books, Sept. 1991. Print.


“About Michael Crichton.” Constant C Production, 1997. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.

Arp Thomas, R. Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense. New York: Hartcourt Brace & Company, 2002. Print.

Irina, Ishkhneli. “Minor Subgenres.” Film Genres. The First of September, Aug.