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Edgar Allan Poe Essay

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Matthew Fenton 10Mc HBS en2/lt : pre 1914 prose How does E.A. Poe explore the themes of horror and obsession in his short stories? In Edgar Allan Poe's short stories the black cat and The Tell Tale Heart, both terrify the reader by making them believe they are the person going through these terrifying tales, as they believe they can hear the heart pound under the floor boards as in The Tell Tale Heart. Or they feel very cocky as showing the police round the basement 2 - 3 times until it all goes wrong, they feel it was them who committed these awful crimes. In the Black cat short story, it is the madness of the characters that creates the perfect scary story, the man trying to kill the cat and eventually killing his wife. Poe creates an atmosphere of horror by making the reader feel they are the main character, that they have just driven an axe in to there wives head. He wants the reader to feel scared and unsure, to be scared next time they hear a soft beating sound that is unexplainable, to remember the story and haunt you for as long as you live. The techniques he uses to do this are simple, but very, very affective, he repeats words and describes the most minute thing, for example, "It was open - wide, wide open - and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. ...read more.


The use of words are very selective, sometimes simple sometimes words you may never of heard of but no matter what words he used they were the right ones. Poe uses very descriptive language to give the reader a better view at the story than. If he didn't use description the story would be very plain and hard to work out what what looked like and how people moved and noises items made when dropped or used. Using description gives the shirt story's dimension and reality. An example of this is; "Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded - with caution - with what foresight - with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. and every night about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it - oh so gently" the effect of this is it gives the story a better sound to it and gives you all the information you need to give you the perfect picture in your mind so you can see the story as if it was a film or a movie. This effect is very useful and makes Edgar Allan Poe's work more popular. ...read more.


I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it - oh so gently" suggest the narrator does not want to be seen as mad he wants to be shown as anyone else, that he's not crazy, you are for believing he was. Poe portrays this to show that he was probably more sane than you or me. Edgar Allan Poe explores the perfect horror story of his time. As the when the story's are read in the present they do not scare us as we have seen horror films with people having objects rammed through there heads and horrible things that would scare the hair of a little child's back. But even how descriptive the story is it wouldn't scare you because of our modern day society. The techniques used by Edgar Allan Poe created tension and fear, wanting to know what happened next. And that is what happened. Edgar Allan Poe is successful through being able to reflect his life into his work, create new techniques for generations onwards to use, he gave some of the best examples of narrative stories and created some of the most describing pieces of work ever. In most peoples eyes he succeeded in being one of the top horror writers of all time, if not the most remembered and the best. ...read more.

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