The narrative relies on descriptive language to create tension in the story’s beginning. It is important for the story’s opening to introduce the ominous circumstances and setting in order to establish a mood of darkness. The descriptive language helps create suspense without being explicit about the source of the danger. In one example, a simile describes the atmosphere of the forest:
The roebuck, which usually kept in the sheltered hollows during a storm-wind, were running like driven things tonight [...].
This sentence comes within a larger section of sensory descriptions of the forest. Without explicitly stating what dark force is haunting the forest, the simile implies the existence of something that is "driv[ing]" the creatures running through the woods. It is not clear what, exactly, is driving the roebucks, but the fact that they are "running like driven things" implies that they are fleeing something of significant force. This simile creates an atmosphere of anticipation by hinting at potential violence. The fact that animals are fleeing the forest makes Ulrich’s decision to venture deeper seem unwise. The existence of this simile also foreshadows the eventual interaction Ulrich and Georg will have with the wolves. By calling attention to the roebucks early in the story, the forest and the creatures within it become significant players in the showdown to come.