Language Edgar Allan Poe uses to Create Atmosphere and Suspense

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Show how Edgar Allan Poe uses language to create atmosphere and describe the state of mind of the murderer. Consider how the modern reader might respond to this story. In this essay I will discuss the which language techniques Poe uses to create atmosphere and suspence. I will also show how he allows us to get into the mind of the murder and how he conveys his state of mind. ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ is the 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. I think that this story was perfect for the time in Europe due to the 19th century fascination with the mind of ‘madmen’. However, in America, Poes stories were rejected for their sordidity and gore. Despite this they became very popular in Europe along with the Gothic and Romantic movements in art and literature. The story starts with a very abrupt attention grabbing opening. The word ‘TRUE’ not only starts the story with a burst of tension, it also makes the reader want to read on further to try and find out what is true. Poe also uses short, intense sentences to increase suspence and atmosphere. He uses this technique throughout the story whenever he needs to renew the tension.Straight away the murderer begins to argue his sanity. This suggests to the reader that he may have done something for others to think him mad, this again makes the reader want to read on to find out what he has done. Poe tells the story in the first person, in my mind this is exactly the right choice as it allows us into the head of the murderer. It also increases tension as Poe cannot... ... middle of paper ... ...Por describes how the murderer hides his deed Another technique Poe uses is to adress the reader whenever the tension drops, I beleive that this is a clever way of increasing tension as it makes the reader want to continue to try and discover wht the murderer is talking about. Towards the end of the story Poe uses alot of punctuation, this is unlike the rest of the story so it helps to increase tension and atmosphere. The punctuation helps to give the story more rythym towards the end of the story. Poe uses many language techniques to great effect in ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’. He uses most of the techniques to increase tension and suspence, however at one point he uses many of the same techniques to slow down the pace and level the tension. I beleive that he uses all his language techniques at the right moments in the story to give the desired effect.
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