Compare the ways in which Poe creates suspense for the reader in The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado.

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22/10/12 Justin Oh 9S

Unit B931 Analysing Texts:

Compare the ways in which Poe creates suspense for the reader in two or more stories you have read.

Poe creates effective suspense in his stories, and two examples of which Poe creates suspense are “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado”. Poe creates suspense in his stories in various different ways, some are similar in each story, but some are different. Poe’s stories are filled with drama terror and fear, due to the suspense he creates. A lot of his stories are gothic and contain some sort of death or suffering.

In the Tell-Tale Heart in the narrator persistently insists that he is not mad although throughout the story we learn more and more that he is in fact mad. He tries to prove his sanity by telling us how carefully he had planned the murder and all the precautions he had taken, but this just further proves his insanity. Also the narrator from the Tell-Tale Heart often talks the reader. Three examples of where the narrator directly speaks to the reader are, “but why will you say that I am mad?”, “You fancy me mad”, and, “if still you think me mad”.

Another way that Poe creates suspense is by making the narrator obsessed with something, in the Tell-Tale Heart the narrator is obsessed with the old man’s eye, in the Cask of Amontillado the narrator is obsessed with revenge and in the Pit and the Pendulum the narrator is obsessed with survival, this means we cannot entirely trust the reader says, or what actions he may or may not have done, also the narrator in the Pit and the Pendulum is drugged and tired, although this is not his fault we can trust him the least. “It must have been drugged, for scarcely had I drunk before I became irresistibly drowsy. A deep sleep fell upon me -- a sleep like that of death”

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Time is shown moving slowly when the sentences are longer and they include more commas, It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening”, “A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than did mine”, and, “For a whole hour, I did not move a muscle” however, when the pace of the story increases and time appears to move faster, the sentences are much shorter, normally including two or three words. “I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room”, and, “They heard. They suspected. They knew”.

Watches are referenced a few times during ...

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