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Comparison of 'The Tell Tale Heart', 'The Black Cat', and 'The Oval Portrait'.

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Introduction

'The Tell Tale Heart' is about the death of an old man who was murdered by his man servant, who had become increasingly agitated over his master's 'evil eye'. 'The Oval Portrait is the story of a painter's infatuation with his young wife, who gradually dies due to the supernaturalism of his painting. 'The Black Cat' is about a mans perverse and sadistic killing of his pet and his wife. These tales all conform to the horror genre because they inflict physical and psychological fear upon the reader. The three stories I have analysed all convey frightening and shocking horror, inducing a feeling of repulsion or loathing. 'I cut off the head and the arms and the legs' is a quote taken from 'The Tell Tale Heart'. It refers to the brutal murder of an old man and how his killer has dismembered his corpse, so that he can hide it. 'She was dead!' is a quote taken from 'The Oval Portrait'. It refers to the shocking death of a painter's young wife, who is nothing more than his muse for his treasured art work. 'I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain' is a quote taken from 'The Black Cat'. ...read more.

Middle

'Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold' is a quote taken from 'The Tell Tale Heart'. It refers to the man servant's reaction when his master's 'evil eye' falls upon him. 'She was dead!' is a quote taken from 'The Oval Portrait'. It conveys the astonishment of the painter when he finds that his wife is dead. 'The fury of a demon instantly possessed me' is taken from the story 'The Black Cat'. It refers to the characters state of mind when he has consumed too much alcohol. The stories convey sheer terror as an instantaneous reaction which has an effect on your mental well being. However, 'The Black Cat' portrays a more fearful atmosphere, based on satanic references, such as 'demon'. The short horror stories by Poe all convey irrational foreboding, such as premonitions. 'He had been lying awake, ever since the first slight noise' is taken from 'The Tell Tale Heart'. It refers to the night the man servant enters his master's bedroom. The servant makes a slight noise and awakes his master, who could not see before him as the darkness lay still and awake. 'I thus saw in vivid light a picture all unnoticed before' is a quote taken from 'The Oval Portrait'. ...read more.

Conclusion

'The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair, melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow which formed the background of the whole' is taken from 'The Oval Portrait'. It refers to the painting, and how it had aged over time. 'The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators' is a quote taken from 'The Black Cat'. It refers to the decaying of the wife's corpse, which was concealed within the cellar. 'The Tell Tale Heart' and 'The Black Cat' portray decay and ruin using the theme of murder. 'The Oval Portrait' portrays decay and ruin using the passage of time. The topic of imprisonment, cruelty and/or persecution is conveyed in different forms over the three stories. 'Beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim' is a quote taken from 'The Tell Tale Heart'. It refers to unjust killing of an elderly man, who had his corpse dismembered and buried under floorboards of his own home. 'My desperately wounded condition' is a quote taken from 'The Oval Portrait'. It refers to the injury sustained by the character, who seeks refuge in the chateau. 'I had walled the monster up within the tomb' is taken from 'The Black Cat'. It refers to the male character's horror at seeing that he had imprisoned his pet within the walls of his cellar. ...read more.

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