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An appreciation of 'The Tell Tale Heart' by Edgar Allan Poe and 'The Confession' by Charles Dickens.

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Introduction

An Appreciation of 'The Tell Tale Heart' By Edgar Allan Poe and 'The Confession' By Charles Dickens This assignment asks for an appreciation of the stories by Edgar Allen Poe 'The Tell Tale Heart' and Charles Dickens 'The Confession'. I will start by exploring Edgar Allen Poe's story and style of writing, how it captivates the reader, building suspense and terror. I will then explore Charles Dickens 'Confession' And finally following my analysis of the two stories I will compare and contrast the different styles. Edgar Allen Poe's story 'The Tell Tale Heart' describes how the perpetrator plans and executes a vicious attack on an old man. This story is told in an autobiographical format with the author describing his state of mind, questioning his own sanity. He calmly describes how there was no object or passion that caused him to commit the heinous act of murder as he describes his love for the old man. His only explanation is his victims 'eye' which he describes as vulture like and intimidating. He disassociates the 'eye ' from the old man and it is the eye that drives him to commit the crime. He talks of his dissimulation in planning the old man's death and how e treated him during the week prior to killing him, how he taunted him, stalked him, and preyed upon him at midnight (witching hour), this sinister act of voyeurism is unpleasant and adds to the tension of the story. ...read more.

Middle

Then it tells of how his brother has been struck with a terminal illness. He talks of his marriage to his brother's sister-in-law and describes this additional tie as estranging them further. He disliked his sister-in-law for he felt she could see through him, and see his jealousy, and so he could not meet her eyes but felt hers constantly digging into him. Only relieved by a quarrel, and her subsequent death, she both frightened and haunted him. She died shortly after her birth of her son. And on his brother's death bed the child was placed in his care and should the child die all property and possessions pass onto to his wife. With '...a few brotherly words with me, deploring our long separation; and being exhausted, fell into a slumber, from which he never awoke.' The author talks of his own childless relationship and how his wife took the place of the child's mother. It was the child's infatuation with his wife that he found disturbing as within him he saw his natural mother's intuition, her face and her spirit which caused him to mistrust the boy to the point of obsession. He increasingly become uneasy in the child's presence, he showed him fear and hate. The boy kept his distance whenever possible. He could not recall when these feelings came upon him and initially he wished the child no ill. The thoughts crept upon him until they overtook his whole thought patterns. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many similarities between both stories. 'The Tell Tale Heart' is autobiographical description/confession of the murder of a victim known by the perpetrator. It describes the careful process and preparation/planning of the murder and how the murderers own paranoia and psychosis results in the confession. They both describe the careful stalking of the victims. 'The Confession' by Charles Dickens is also an autobiographical description/confession of the murder in which the victim is known to the murderer and also he describes the preparation and once again has confessed as a result of paranoia. Both stories use the technique of repetition to create tension and suspense, and the use of short sharp sentences are also used to construct the state of panic of which both murderer's encounter when they are discovered. The contrasts between the two stories are that 'The Tell Tale Heart' by Edgar Allan Poe talks of his love for the victim, but fear of the eye. There is no financial gain to the murder on the death of the victim. The author describes no regret or remorse for the act and prides himself on the cleverness of his actions, Edgar Allan Poe tells the story through a psychotic murderer, whereas in Charles Dickens 'The Confession', the author tells the story through more of a thinking and tactical murderer. The author dislikes the victim altogether with no love loss between them. There is a gain from the death of the victim. And during more rational times the murderer talks of much regret and remorse. By Charlotte Bull 10c ...read more.

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