• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Edgar Allan Poe keep the reader in suspence in 'The Tell tale heart'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Tell-Tale Heart How does Edgar Allan Poe keep the reader in suspense in 'The Tell-Tale Heart'? in the very first sentence, Poe starts to build up the tension by saying 'True - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous' this repetitiveness builds up the tension, the word 'dreadfully' gives the reader a clue that it is going to build up to something bad. He then gives us a clue that he is a bit of a mad man by saying 'but why will you say that I am mad?' this automatically makes the reader suggest he is mad, but we don't know why yet. The story is being narrated by the murderer, and in the beginning, he really makes you empathise with him. You can really imagine this scary eye. He says 'whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold' so he is really scared of this eye and you can relate and feel sorry for him. Poe talks about time throughout the story. He mentions when time is going slow, when time is going fast, and also he changes the pace, switching between slow and fast. These elements add to building the suspense. The slow build up builds up tension, the slow, careful planning, and the longer sentences that drags it out as if the narrator is talking slowly and patiently. ...read more.

Middle

So this gives a better effect than if Poe had of just said 'very slowly'. The repetition makes it sound as if he had done it even slower. Throughout the story Poe uses noises to create atmosphere in the story. Sounds create an atmosphere as they have an effect on the reader, and noises can really set the scene in the story. Or in some cases I can add to the suspense and scare readers as they can relate to these noises that may have happened in their own home and scared them. An example of Poe using noise to create a tense atmosphere is when he says 'hinges creaked' this makes the read tense and keeps them in suspense as they are wondering what would be the old mans reaction if he heard this as he cannot see anybody so he is bound to be scared. Also when it says the hinge creeks, it gives you the impression that it is a creepy, old house, which adds to the atmosphere. The next example of sound being used to create atmosphere is when Poe says 'it was the beating of the old man's heart' so this really helps the reader picture the scene, it gives them I more imaginative view of what's happening. This noise really lets the reader know just really how scared the old man is, because they will know fro, their own experience that your heart races and becomes loud when you're scared. ...read more.

Conclusion

so he keeps referring to the reader as 'you', and asking the reader questions. This really involves the reader with the story, so again the reader is emotionally involved and really feels the suspense and tension built throughout the story. This is good and very effective as it allows Poe to talk of the murder in plenty of detail, and it also lets us know what the murderer is thinking and what his motive is for killing the man (the eye). The murderers feelings in this story is a vital factor as it lets us know how he has planned the murder, and also all the precautions he took leading up to the murder. It also allows Poe to describe the eye and get the reader to empathise with the murderer. I really enjoyed this story as I felt myself gripped and involved in it. So I could really feel the tension and the suspense, I was on the edge waiting for something to happen. I could really relate to the story and that's why I felt involved, because I could imagine this poor old man scared in bed and hearing strange noises, which scares anybody if they are in bed all alone. So the story was really exciting and enjoyable to read. ?? ?? ?? ?? Scott Parker 11G 28.02.2007 ...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. Marked by a teacher

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

    3 star(s)

    This leaves us to wonder whether this is due to who he is narrating too, or if his mind is just torn between two different feelings towards Fortunato. Montresor eventually accepts Fortunato's wish to proceed when Fortunato exclaims "I shall not die of a cough", to which Montresor replies; "true - true".

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

    To conclude this section, using direct address and talking to the reader, gets them involved on what is happening and is a great result, as sometimes you can relate to the story. Poe does this by using the word "you" and question marks from rhetorical questions.

  1. Compare and contrast;"The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe and "The Yellow Wallpaper" ...

    Both were written in the nineteenth century, by American writers. Both are very famous ghost stories in Europe as well as the USA. Both are psychological thrillers, exploring mental status and breakdowns. They are both written in the first person, and revolve around that one central character all the way through.

  2. An appreciation of 'The Tell Tale Heart' by Edgar Allan Poe and 'The Confession' ...

    and generally beloved' his friends and acquaintances would say '...they were surprised to find two brothers so unlike in their manners and appearance'.

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

    From the opening of the story the character is seeking to persuade the audience that he is not insane, because he believes he is exceedingly intellectual for slaughtering the "evil eye". Later on in the story it comes apparent to the audience that this man is in reality insane, proof

  2. A Tell-Tale Heart

    Their relationship at the start is one of friends or even family as the narrator states 'I loved the old man. He had never wronged me.' There is also obvious lack of normal human motivation, the narrator tells that he had no desire for his 'gold' and that the old man had never insulted him.

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

    but because he evokes in himself a frenzied pleasure and in so moulds his questions so that the answer is always the expected 'Nevermore'. The lover so mournful of his dead woman intends to punish himself by evoking the most intolerable of sorrow.

  2. The Tell Tale Heart is a story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1843. ...

    The story takes place in the house of the old man and at midnight ''and every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it-oh, so gently!''. This makes us understand what, when and where the scene is taking place.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work