Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 2160 words

Edgar Allan Poe 'Tell Tale Heart' and 'the fall of the house of Usher

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Edgar Allan Poe and see how teachers think you should prepare in:

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In the first paragraph we are introduced to the main character who is also the narrator. Immediately he comes across as being mad and crazed. He claims that a disease has 'sharpened his senses' and made him healthy. This is obviously quite strange because a disease doesn't strengthen you it weakens you. He seems to be talking to himself at the beginning, which is an obvious symptom of madness. Poe uses short sentences to convey the nervous agitation shown by the murderer. 'Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing', these three short sentences suggest that the murderer is panicking and is anxious, although he tries to hide it We then meet the old man who has the 'eye of a vulture'. The murderer fears the eye and makes it his duty to destroy it. When he sees it, it makes his 'blood run cold', this implies to the reader that he is insane as he is afraid of an eye. The eye is named the 'Evil Eye', which gives the eye a status and emphasises its vileness and vulgar appearance. Poe uses different techniques to create a chilling atmosphere. ...read more.

Middle

the murder he is satisfied that the deed has been done and as he hides the body, he describes his actions as a 'perfect suavity', he thinks of himself as dexterous and omniscient. However, when the police arrive and begin to interrogate him, his boldness gradually withdraws from him. At first he remains confident when they arrive and describes his murder as a 'perfect triumph', but as he begins to hear a ringing noise he shows his guilt and becomes distressed and agitated. Poe uses long sentences, exclamation marks and the repetition of a rhetorical question to show this. The murderer begins to lose self-control, he becomes angry and psychotic using, 'violent gesticulations' to express his anger. Then he loses control completely and 'admits the deed' bringing the story to an abrupt conclusion, leaving the reader to imagine what the police might do with him. In 'The Fall of the House of Usher', the reader is instantly met by a bleak, sepulchral and dismal atmosphere. Poe uses immensely depressing sentences to show this. The narrator who is a friend of the diseased Roderick Usher states, 'insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit' when he sights the house, this suggests to the reader that this house has a paranormal atmosphere to it to be able to cause such an effect on anyone who looked at it. ...read more.

Conclusion

To the modern reader this comes as little surprise, almost foreseeable and maybe too clichéd. Both 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and 'The Fall of the House of Usher' have quite simple storylines. Poe creates tension and suspense in both stories formulating a sinister and ominous atmosphere, which may appeal to the modern reader as it fits in more closely with the orthodox modern day horror genre. However, Poe doesn't use unambiguous descriptions and images to create that fear, instead he relies on the reader's imagination to create these meticulous images in their heads. Poe uses more antiquated and sophisticated sentences such as 'I fancied a ringing in my ears', the modern day reader may not be used to this type of language. Poe's sentence structure can also prove a challenge to understand, which means the reader has to spend more time and effort to be aware of what is going on, the modern day reader may not be up to the challenge and not be willing to make the effort. Nowadays we are used to straightforward language, which is easier to comprehend. Overall I believe that Poe was a successful gothic writer as he has used clever description to create the atmosphere he wants and to form a picture of the abnormal characters he uses in the two short stories. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Edgar Allan Poe section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Edgar Allan Poe essays

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

    It refers to the character pondering on the killing of his cat. This effects the present because a gigantic cat is imprinted upon his wall. The stories that I have analysed all convey the expectations of enclosed and haunting settings.

  2. How does the writer create suspense in the Tell Tale Heart?

    My next example is "I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror." This quotation gives a very good effect, as it shows what he heard and saw right up to slaughtering the man.

  1. Compare and contrast the narrative techniques used in three or more of Edgar Allan ...

    The setting in this story shows the conditions the character is subjected to, the pit in the middle of the floor was intended for his death, though he tripped and exposed the ditch. Now subject to more torture, he is beneath a swinging pendulum, gradually moving closer towards his body.

  2. Discussing 'The Tell Tale Heart', 'The Black Cat' and 'The Oval Portrait'.

    It refers to the character pondering on the killing of his cat. This effects the present because a gigantic cat is imprinted upon his wall. The stories that I have analysed all convey the expectations of enclosed and haunting settings.

  1. Compare the two nineteenth century horror stories, 'The Black Cat' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart' ...

    He led them towards the old man's bedroom and placed some chairs out for them on the exact spot of the body. He began to make typical chat with the officers but could hear the heart of the old man beating louder and louder until it drew the narrator mad and he confessed to the murder.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    How does Edgar A. Poe build up suspense and tension in The Cask of ...

    3 star(s)

    to the mystery in the story, and all of this mystery, including the one introduced at the very start (what Fortunato did to Montresor), keep the suspense and tension high, even while little is going on. As they get deeper into the vaults, the "foulness of the air" caused their torches to dim, and made breathing more difficult.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe 'Tell Tale Heart' and 'the fall of the house of Usher

    'I heard all things in heaven and in Earth. I heard many things in hell,' This makes the reader suspect that the narrator is unstable and his actions are the commands of the voices in his head, when referring to hell we suspect that some of these voices are evil and dark in their nature.

  2. "The Raven" by Edgar A. Poe - oral commentary.

    length the lover, startled from his original nonchalance by the melancholy nature of the word itself and its frequent repetition, - is excited to a state of superstition and a kind of despair (pause) which delights in self-torture. He does this not because he believes in the prophetic or demonic nature of the bird itself (pause)

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Edgar Allan Poe and see how teachers think you should prepare in: