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Edgar Allen Poe Comparative Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Edgar Allen Poe was a mentally unstable man which allowed him to have a very unique writing ability. His upbringing was a major contributing factor to this instability. Both of Poe's parents died when he was at the mere age of two. Poe grew up with his aunt and uncle, who gave him some of the best opportunities to be successful in life, but deprived him of the love and attention needed to become a normal person. Poe's uncle never accepted him into the family and because of this there were some quarrelsome times. Poe went on to figure out a path that would guide his life but had a hard time figuring out what it was he wanted to do. He traveled all over the map and eventually found that writing poetry and stories would help ease his misery. Poe wrote an astonishing amount of poetry and short stories for the short life span he had (1809-1849). Poe's disturbed life had a great influence on the variety of literary elements that he used. Because of the tragedies and horrible situations he got himself into, we can see many things such as pain, fear or agony reflected in the work he has done. The two short stories, "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" have very similar noticeable literary techniques in common: writing style, irony, and point-of-view.Poe's writing technique has been discriminated against by many well-known authors, mostly because of the fact that they can't relate to his ridiculously creepy subject matter, which is seen in his writing style. Poe uses repetition of words to emphasize meaning of a certain line or paragraph. For example, in the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" Poe constantly repeats the word "very": "true!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am." We can also see repetition of words in the short story "The Black Cat" where the author uses "hung it" when referring to how he would like to see the cat die. He uses these two words more than six times in one sentence. By using repetition Poe enables the reader to slow down the rate at which they read and register it in their minds how unstable both of the narrators really are. In the two short stories "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" obsession is something that Poe uses as well. "The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me into madness." This is the author's way of telling the reader that the narrator is fueled by the hatred for the cat and obsessed in seeing it to its death. In "The Tell-Tale Heart" the reader hears these lines: "You should have seen how wisely I proceeded - with what caution - with what foresight - with what dissimulation I went to work!" By using this kind of...

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