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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''?

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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