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Explore the techniques used by pre-twentieth century authors to build fear and tension for the reader in three or four short stories. You must refer to the historical context.

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  • Essay length: 2381 words
  • Submitted: 05/11/2007
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GCSE Edgar Allan Poe

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Explore the techniques used by pre-twentieth century authors to build fear and tension for the reader in three or four short stories. You must refer to the historical context.

"The Black Cat," by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Blind Man," by Kate Chopin" and "The Tell-Tale Heart," by Edgar Allan Poe.

Usually, a black cat is an animal associated with witchcraft and black magic. And in Edgar Allan Poe's nineteenth century short story, this is no different. They are viewed as mythical, demonic objects; objects of evil. The author's cat is called Pluto. This name itself suggests that maybe it is a secretive animal, hidden and unknown, like the ninth planet it's named after; nobody knows much about it. We soon learn that the cat is "entirely black, sagacious to an astonishing degree." Much like the writer, this cat is portrayed as being wise and astute. Yet within what appears to be no time at all, the writer is fiercely describing the feline as being a "monster," summoning hellish images into the mind of the reader. "The fury of a demon instantly possessed me" is a quotation which shows the writer's abstract impulsiveness towards the cat. The writer

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