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GCSE: Edgar Allan Poe
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IV. Analysis of the stories and poems of Poe. A. Poe was a talented writer. B. He excelled in poetry and in fiction and detective stories. V. Poe excelled in the field of detective stories, as he was the inventor of the short detective story. A. Many famous writers based their characters on Poe's stories. B. "The Murders in The Rue Morgue" an example to show the excellence of Poe in the filed of Short story. C. Another detective story: "The Purloined Letter". VI. The life of this great writer ended in New York after amusing the readers by his great works.
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'Compare "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W Jacobs with either "The Red Room" by H.G Wells or "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe, examining how the writer creates suspense in the stories.
In the mind of the reader, a scary place is created. We the readers, start to expect something to do with ghosts or phantoms. We know that later on, something will happen. Darkness, the candles lit loneliness all lead to the build up of tension. In the black cat, we are not quite sure from where the writer is telling, but it appears to be a prison. The house that is used sounds like a fairly normal detached house. In terms of suspense and tension, the location used in 'The Monkey's Paw' is more of what a reader would suspect for a horror story.
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First of all, looking at both of the stories plots you can see they are two completely different short stories. The Black Cat and the Purloined Letter have a lot of plots, which is probably the only similarity between both of the stories. The Black Cat has a violent, murderous plot filled with revenge and insanity. Also it has a small plot which can be the alcoholism shown in the story. The Purloined Letter whilst has a more calmer and subtle plots, such as the intellectual thrills, blackmail, theft and deceit.
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The murders in both stories have several similarities as well as differences. Firstly, both men dissect the murders and explain rationally the precision with which they went about killing their victims in an attempt to seem as sane as possible. In The Tell-Tale Heart, this is the narrator says, "You should have seen how wisely I preceded - with what caution - with what foresight - with what dissimulation I went to work!" while in The Black Cat he says "I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body".
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It has reference to the murder of a housewife, killed by her own husband, and then attempts to conceal the corpse in the basement. Although these short stories all contain shocking and frightening scenes of horror, 'The Oval Portrait' is very much more withdrawn horror and does not contain graphic imagery, unlike 'The Tell Tale Heart' and 'The Black Cat'. The three stories that I have analysed contain psychological chaos and psychic trauma in one form or another. 'I felt that I must scream or die!'
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Edgar Allen Poe treats Madeline and Roderick as if they were identical twins instead of fraternal twins. He implies the Roderick and Madeline are so close that they can sense what is happening to each other. Lady Madeline, twin sister of Roderick Usher, does not speak one word throughout the story. In fact, she is absent from most of the story. At the narrator's arrival, she takes to her bed and falls into a catatonic state. He helps bury her and put her away in a vault, but when she reappears, he flees.
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Wild bleak landscapes and the use of pathetic fallacy can be seen in books such as Wuthering Heights. Bronte's novel is filled with dreams sensibility and lofty ideals, as well as having many of the classic darker elements of Walpole and Radcliffe's original 'Gothick revival'. Writers such as H. G. Wells and Jules Verne added Science-Fictional elements, and Oscar Wilde began a decadent Gothic sub genre joined by authors such as Bram Stoker. Instead of gradually dying out Gothicism flourished and grew throughout the Twentieth Century, as new ways of expressing the genre appeared.
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which is full of his memories of her. The main theme is one of romantic horror involving many references to the heaven, hell and the devil. It is best described as a darkly romantic classic using the full range of Poe's dramatic talent. -The tone and subject of the poem are sadness and beauty. When Poe decided to write this poem, he wanted to write about beauty because it evokes the most positive effect. For everyone understands the passion and excitement of Beauty. -The tone used is one of 'sadness'.
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Compare and contrast 'The Black Cat', 'The Cask Of Amontillado' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart' by Edgar Allan Poe.
In all three of the stories a murder is present and the narrators are the murderers. There is another significant difference between the 'The Black Cat' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart', and 'The Cask Of Amontillado' in the latter the murderer and narrator remains free and is not punished for his crime whereas the murderers in 'The Black Cat' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart' were caught and punished whether through there own guilt or self-confidence. A major difference between the three stories is the style of the murders; the murder in 'The Black Cat' was one of passion unplanned and very careless,
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Choose two of the pre-20th century short stories that you have studied. Compare and contrast the ways in which they make use of character, plot and language to create tension.
This scandal pursued him during the rest of his life, until in 1836 when he married Virginia; the 13 year old daughter of his favourite aunt. When she died in 'suspicious circumstances' eleven years later, Poe undertook a series of semi-public love affairs until his early death in 1829. We will first consider the way in which the characters in the two stories create tension, and we can observe that in both, the way they are presented is very important.
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Compare and contrast;"The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe and "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Most ghost stories have several "typical aspects". There is almost always a creepy setting, such as a 'haunted house'. This aspect is not present in "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe but it is sort of in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in that although she is in an old house that is haunted, it is not in the traditional, "spooky" way. There is an element of mystery in both passages, more so in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as the woman in the wallpaper is never really discovered, as at the end it is as if Jane turns into her. Another typical characteristic of ghost stories is the happening of the unexpected.
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The stories of mystery and suspense you have read present improbable events - How have the writers of these stories engaged and sustained your interest? Which of the two stories did you find more successful?
Attempting to convince the reader that he is not insane but actually he confirms that he is insane by exclaiming lines like the afore mentioned. This use of language puts doubt about the characters sanity into the readers mind. He also adds suspense to the story as he involves the reader and the reader becomes a voyeuristic accomplice. This adds to the suspense as the reader feels like a key element in the murder and they get a view into the murderers mind.
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With which of the two murderers do you feel sympathy for in the short stories, "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe and "Confessions found In a Prison" by Charles Dickens?
This gave rise to the conjecture that he was a drug addict, but according to medical testimony he had a brain lesion. His wife Virginia died in 1847. Charles Dickens is generally considered as one of the greatest writers of the Victorian Era. His work is characterised by attacks on the social evils, injustices and hypocrisy. In his early teen years he was forced to end school and work in the factory. Dickens characters such as Scrooge, David Copperfield and Mr Pickwick have fascinated generations of readers.
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The truly mad man is someone that does not recognise his madness. Analyse the narrative voice of this story in light of this comment.
Normal people would be an emotional wreck if they had to tell a story of how they killed someone. Our perception of the narrators madness is reinforced when he explains all the reasons for not killing the old man, he even tells us he "loved the old man" this makes the murder seem completely unjustified. The reason he finally gives for the murder backs up our idea of his mental state because he claims "it was the eye" that made him kill the old man, which is utterly idiotic.
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It should engage the reader by being dramatic or humorous,) characters (this should be less than five characters as too many will make the story confusing or too boring too read. The characters should also not be as fully developed as in novels as it might make the story too long,) clues to the climax (this is done to build suspense and tension towards the ending. This technique is used to raise readers' expectations by making the story more interesting,) twist at the end (this makes the story interesting and usually unexpected.
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The main character is very confident about what he has done and think that he had a very good reason for killing the old man which was that he didn't like the way his eyes looked like and because he thought that the eyes were evil. We can see evidence of that in the 2nd paragraph on page 93 where he says: 'I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture-very gradually- I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.'
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The theme is based on a "dark side" of human nature found in everyone. This side is mostly hidden, but it can emerge when a person is "pushed over the edge." Fear pushes them over the edge and towards the dark side. The narrator tells the story from his point of view but also speaks to the reader. "Now at this point you fancy me mad." Though when reading the story it soon becomes clear that the reader is talking more to himself than t the reader, trying to first persuade himself that he is not mad.
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A heart attack and a brush with death would give very good reason for Poe to choose heartbeats to express the deep and buried obsessions with which he deals. The heart, which to him embodies what is wrong with him and his life, symbolises in the story that which is wrong with the narrator, that is the lack of the coherence of the implication of logic, reason and morals. There are many motifs (objects, ideas, kinds of characters, settings, etc.)
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Without the readers full attention there is a strong chance that they will not carry on reading. When starting to write a horror story the first line is extremely important because it makes you want to read on. Edgar had a distinct advantage to other writers on the topic of the macabre because he suffered for most of his extremely short life of ill health. The first sentence in a story gives the reader a clue about how the story is going to be written for example L.P Hartley's story "Night Fears" begins with, "The coke brazier was elegant enough but the night watchman was not, consciously at any rate, sensitive to beauty or form."
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Poe uses setting in his stories in very diverse ways, to develop themes, express a state of mind and to create horror. He uses different types of setting for example physical setting and location, setting of time and setting of the psychological mind of the narrator. These three types of setting work together to produce elements of the genre of gothic literature and also to reflect incidents and influences of Poe's life. . In a way Poe's real life reflects the lives of the characters in his stories for example he was a heavy drinker, his marriage was troubled and there were rumours that he died from rabies.
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The man imagines that the raven has come to retrieve him of his anguish and imagines like all other blessings of his life, the bird will leave. The Climax of the poem is when the narrator faces his confused and disordered world and in his madness he cries out, "Get three back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!" Poe has an extensive use of vocabulary and there is a use of ancient and poetic language, which seems appropriate, since the poem is about a man spending most of his time with the books of the "forgotten Lore".
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He weaves his tale in a verbose, repetitive manner, which initially takes some getting used to. Once this hurdle has been overcome, one cannot help but be drawn by Poe's compelling power of description. He manages to make every word of every sentence appear sinister and foreboding and this is crucial in building up the suspense in this story. It is this quality that lends "The Oval Portrait" a somewhat dark, melancholy undertone which is present from the offset. The writer's description of events creates very vivid images in the mind's eye. The opening part of the story is full of elements that suggest a connection with an emotive world.
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In order to create the effect of terror, Poe focuses on the decay and tension before death in the first half, and in the other half, he pushes the story to the climax through playing up the horror and dreariness at the time of death. By doing this, Poe gradually involves readers into the setting of the story as well as the terror. In the opening paragraph, the narrator establishes an overwhelming atmosphere of dread. As he approaches his destination on a "dull, dark, and soundless" day, he notes that the clouds were hanging "oppressively low" in the sky over the "singularly dreary tract" where the "melancholy" House of Usher stood.
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The early American writers can be attributed to carrying out, through writing, deCovevoeur's definition of an American. And none other than Edgar Allan Poe was able to depict the American life through detailed writing. He, following with the definition, certainly brought new ideas up to the surface. In such writings as A Descent into the Maelstrom and MS Found in a Bottle, Poe wrote of characters striving to victoriously arrive at the end of their plight. These problems of theirs weren't the every-day, typical problems people face, either.
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"The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Alan Poe (1843) is a story describing a case of domestic violence that has occurred as a result of an irrational fear. To the narrator, that fear is represented by the old man's eye. This eye which has caused such fear to the narrator is described as a vulture's eye. "He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it." (Poe, 1843) A vulture, of course, is a bird of prey; and if anyone is predatory in this story, it is certainly not the old man, but the narrator.
- Word count: 2373