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Gothic fiction is a genre of literature consisting of horror, darkness, death, terror, castles and many other horrific elements to create suspense and to engage the reader. During the 18th century this specific genre became popular with the novel “The Castle of Otranto”, and later on developed into other known stories such as “Frankenstein” and “Dracula”. The name gothic is referring to the scary buildings which many of these stories takes place in. The gothic genre has also developed into German gothic and Victorian gothic.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” is an example of a gothic short story, written by Edgar Allan Poe and published in 1943. The story is narrated by a person with a hidden identity, which have committed a murder and is trying to convince both himself and the reader that he is not mad. As he explains the procedure of the murder, the reader gets an idea of how well planned everything was although the narrator clearly shows signs of psychological disorders throughout the story. He is evolving the reason behind his murder around an old man’s eye, which is threatening to the narrator. He describes the killing as helping himself by ‘rid myself of the eye for ever’. Poe focused more on the psychology of his characters and he often turned them into madness. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is one of Poe’s most famous short stories, just as well as being one of the classics of the gothic genre.
In the story “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the common elements of a gothic story are viewable from the very beginning. One of the earliest sentences is “why will you say that I am mad?” and this gives a kick into the direction of people’s fear of insanity and evilness. Horror is being well shown through the defined description of the murder and the atmosph...

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...ght not fit perfectly in the gothic genre – if the reader has other opinions and is oblivious of the fact that the narrator in the story is mad. This story focuses more on the psychological instead of the supernatural, and that can be another reason to why it does not fit into the gothic genre.
In conclusion, “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a well written piece of literature which does indeed fit in the gothic genre. Edgar A. Poe did an excellent job in using different techniques and bringing the ideas of a psychologically ill character into his story. Also, many gothic elements are used perfectly to bring forth an entertaining and easy-to-read story, which many people will enjoy reading in many years to come. I think this story is a perfect example of how a gothic short story should look like and I consider this story to be a good source of motivation for young writers.
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