How Does Poe Create Tension and Suspense in ‘the Tell-Tale Heart’?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By SafiKader
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Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) was a Gothic writer he wrote over 100 books and poems.’ The Tell-Tale Heart is a story where Poe uses detail, exaggeration, choice of words and the time of day to keep us reading on the edge of our seats. Those are just a few ways which makes the story a good read. When the story first opens we are dragged right into the action, when he is protesting to what we believe is a wrong doing, These words are the classic case of "The lady doth protest too much" and the reader wonders why the narrator tries to explain himself so much, we wonder what he could of done, the suspense begins
First, his use of first person instead of third starts building up the suspense; right at the beginning we are introduced to the narrator and his character ‘True! – Nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?’ After reading these lines the reader is immediately begins being drawn to the story and its tension, the reader must question everything about the narrating character before reading on, as a reader we must ask ourselves, Is the man really mad? Can we believe what he says? All of this begins putting the reader on edge right from the start. Next we have the use of different words and styles, when we read the story we read it as if the narrating character is confessing to the crime he has done, this also adds tension. Poe also uses repetition ‘I undid the lantern cautiously -- oh, so cautiously – cautiously’ When reading this we become more tense because we don’t know what is going to happen after, also we feel as if we are in their position, being cautious and steady, this draws us as readers in, and helps build suspense. Poe also uses plot and the structure to create most of the tension. In the scene where our narrator spies on the old man at 12 o’clock, Midnight when no-one else is awake, then our…...

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