Unearthing Poe's Genius For Suspense Essay

1879 words - 8 pages

Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and of the macabre, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to the emergent science fiction genre.Poe's achievements in literature was certain. Read throughout the world now and then, his works influenced a myriad of writers - esteemed by Doyle, admired by Dostojewski and translated by the famous French poet Baudelaire, Poe has become a legendary writer, representing the artist as a romantic failure.Few authors have consistently tingled our spine like Master Poe. While two centuries have passed since his tortured life and twisted pen have graced our old world, his fame has endured.This paper was formed in order to recognize his great talent for writing, exploring into his famous titles and how he made it so. I will discuss the innovative language techniques Poe used to create atmosphere and suspense that kept us readers glued to the edge of our chair. I will also show how he allowed us to get into the mind of the protagonists and how he conveyed their state of mind as the story progressed.The Tell-Tale Heart is a story of a man who decides to murder the old man he is living with. There is no apparent reason for this other than the old man's eye, which resembled that of a vulture. In the end he is driven mad by guilt and confesses to the murder.The story starts with a very abrupt and attention-grabbing opening. The word TRUE not only starts the story with a burst of tension, but it also makes the reader want to read on further to try and find out what is true. This technique of addressing the reader is also common throughout the story whenever needed is a brilliant way of recovering the mood as it makes the reader want to continue to try and discover what the murderer is laying stress on.Straight away the murderer begins to argue his sanity. This suggests to the reader that he may have done something for others to regard him as a madman; this again makes the reader want to read on to find out what he has done.Poe tells the story in the first person; this is exactly the way as it allows us into the head of the murderer, in fact, most of his stories were written in this perspective. It also increases tension as Poe cannot describe the environment as much and must describe the world through the murderer's views and senses. Poe really emphasizes the senses in this story, this gives the murderer an animalistic essence, it is also a refreshing way to merge the reader into the story as we can only hear what the murderer is hearing, feel what he is feeling and see what he is seeing. This is a very clever technique as it allows the reader to understand exactly what the murderer is doing at all times. I think that if the story were told in the...

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