Author’s Style: Edgar Allan Poe Essay

727 words - 3 pages

Master of suspense and horror, Edgar Allan Poe is known for his Gothic writing style, as demonstrated in two of his well-known short stories, “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado” His style is created by his use of punctuation, sentence structure, word choice, imagery, and tone. First off, punctuation-wise, dashes, exclamation marks, semicolons, and commas are a favorite of Poe. All this is shown in the first sentence of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “True!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” The dashes take the place of a comma, semicolon, or parentheses—and add side comments or show a change in the train of thought. On the ...view middle of the document...

Both stories use it in their descriptions of setting, appearances, and actions. To give a clear understanding of the catacombs to the reader in “The Cask of Amontillado”, Poe uses a simile and imagery to create an elegant, but still creepy, tone; “The white minerals hang like moss from the ceiling. The drops of moisture trickle among the bones” By using figurative language, he is able to set the mood in his stories and create style.
One of the greatest distinctions in an author’s technique is their choice of words. To go with the genre of his stories, horror and mystery, Poe uses “dark” words, words that often portray madness, death, fury, and murder, to name some. In both “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado”, similarities can be seen in the word choice, like “hesitated”, “trembled”, “heart”, “louder”, and “midnight” According to Poe, the words in a story should help create a “single overwhelming impression”, which is clearly illustrated in lines 78-83 from “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “All in vain; because Death, in approaching him, had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. And...

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