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

How does Edger Allan Poe's writing style and use of lexis create a sense of horror in the three short stories ''The Tell-Tale Heart'', ''The Cask of Amontillado'' and ''The Black Cat''?

Extracts from this document...


Vincia Phillip AS English Language and Literature Edger Allan Poe Tales of Terror Essay question: How does Edger Allan Poe's writing style and use of lexis create a sense of horror in the three short stories ''The Tell-Tale Heart'', ''The Cask of Amontillado'' and ''The Black Cat''? Eighteenth century American poet and story writer, Edger Allan Poe is said to be the master the horror tale. Using evidence from three of Poe's short stories I will examine the writing styles and use of lexis which he uses to create a sense of horror. Horror is defined as being repulsive, horrible and dreadful with dismay, painful and intense fear, and a dismal quality of character. Poe has implemented all these aspects of horror into his stories and has also incorporated the middle aged atmosphere and settings, along with the semantic fields of superstition and death. ''The Cask of Amontillado'' and ''The Tell-Tale Heart'' focus on the narrators aim to punish their Victims. Their 'dreadful acts' are presented as pre-meditated. Both narrators feel offended by their victims. In ''The cask of Amontillado'' the focus in on revenge. ...read more.


Form this statement it can be deduced that the narrator is conversing with someone who knows him well. He states that it was not like him to threaten someone, which implies that he was an innocent man. The narrator in ''The Tell-Tale Heart'', is also pleased with his evil deed. ''Hearken! And observe how healthily -how calmly I can tell you the whole story.'' He uses 'calmly' to describe the way in which he will describe the events of his act. This therefore shows the reader that this man may be mentally unstable, thus creating tension. The narrator in ''The Black Cat'' Is presented as innocent man. The story is designed as a confession of the crime which he has committed. He is about to be executed and recalls how he was overpowered by evil forces. The fact that the man's actions were against his normal will, and that he was innocently part of such a horrifying act causes the reader to fear that they may be vulnerable to similar experiences. Setting plays a crucial part in the development of the horror theme of the stories. ...read more.


Sickness and disease are usually associated with death, thus this helps induce the sinister and horrifying atmosphere. The narrator also personifies 'Death' to present it as a tangible force. ''Death, in approaching him had stalked with his shadow before him......'' Here, the word 'stalks' gives the impression that the death of the old man is inevitable and since the narrator is the agent of this death, suggests that he will go to an extent to kill the old man. This therefore intensifies tension and horror within the reader. The development and structure of Poe's stories are designed primarily to create tension and fear. In ''The cask of Amontillado'' , the narrator describes in detail how he succeeded in carrying out his evil plot. Poe uses longer sentences o describe the events leading up to the actual murder. With a change in style he uses shorter sentences to describe the murder. ''A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite. In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other, about two feet, horizontally.'' The sentence creates tension as there are more pauses and more a lot of information its being given. 1 ...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)

    Montresor asks for Fortunato's help to identify the Amontillado. By doing this, he is essentially complimenting Fortunato's connoisseurship in wine, fuelling his ego and drawing him in. He then pulls the final string, by mentioning Luchresi, another wine expert that is competitive with Fortunato.

  2. Compare and contrast The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat

    He says "Yet the sound increased - a low, dull, muffled sound - much such a sound a watch makes when enveloped in cotton" which references how he described the mans heartbeat as he killed him. Perhaps this was his own heartbeat, because the old man was obviously lifeless, and

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

    Poe uses a lot of alliteration to draw this image. 'Cadaverousness of complexion', this creates a very vivid appearance as it compares him to a corpse, which suggests to the reader that he is very ill and near death, the use of alliteration aids the flow of writing and the

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

    This keeps the reader involved and keeps them paying attention to what's happening. My first example is "how then, am I mad?" In this quotation, when he talks to the reader he uses rhetorical questions (questions that shouldn't be answered).

  1. Compare and contrast 'The Black Cat', 'The Cask Of Amontillado' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart' ...

    the murderer in this story was not as prepared or clever as the other two murderers who were able to prepare thoroughly. Although only the murderer in 'The Cask Of Amontillado' was calm and smart enough to get away with his crime.

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

    The three short stories all portray a rather dark and morbid side to the mind, and human nature. 'I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever' is taken from the story 'The Tell Tale Heart'.

  1. How is tension created in 'The tell tale hearts' and 'The black cat'?

    In 'The tell tale heart' Poe writes 'You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing' and in 'The black cat', 'Mad indeed would I be to expect it...' 'Yet mad I am not' this is affective, as it seems as though the narrator doesn't quite believe it himself, and is trying

  2. Edgar Allan Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" - A critical comparison.

    Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! Louder" (Poe, 1843) The narrator is a person whom feels the need and compulsion to commit a gratuitous act of evil against the old man due to this fear of the eye.

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