Use Of Syntax In The Tell Tale Heart

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Brenda Zai Ms. Todd ENG4UBa 18/09/15 Into the Mind of a Killer Edgar Allan Poe utilizes a wide range of methods to entice the reader into his piece, “The Tell-Tale Heart”. The storyline follows the events of a murder of an old man, in the perspective of the killer who claims he is mentally stable. The writer uses syntax, focusing on sentence length, and tone to emphasize that the narrator is not truly stable, thus not being a reliable perspective. At the beginning of the piece, Poe’s character begins by attempting to reassure the reader that his mental state is not disturbed but perfectly stable. The narrator explains, “The disease has sharpened my five senses- not destroyed- not dulled them”, (Poe, paragraph 1). Poe effectively uses short sentence structure to create a …show more content…

Normally, an individual who is mentally stable does not experience obligation to defend their mental state. This suggests to the reader that the narrator is already desperately seeking for validation which conveys a characteristic of someone who is not sane. Poe’s piece ordinarily uses eloquent and descriptive sentences to set the scene for the reader. However, among these lengthy sentences, the writer cleverly places rushed and abrupt syntax that solidifies the narrator’s mental conflict. When searching for justification of his harmful actions, the narrator states, “There was no real hatred. I loved the old man. He had never done me any wrong” (Poe, paragraph 2). This passage demonstrates the narrator’s desperation to prove righteousness to his flaws with Poe’s use of short sentence syntax. By doing so, Poe uses these sentences as stress points to emphasize the anxiety of the character. Poe chooses brief structure for this passage rather than combining them into one to exemplify directness and demonstrate to the reader the unique perception of the narrator. This suggests to the reader that the

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