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GCSE: Edgar Allan Poe

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 1
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  1. Marked by a teacher

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

    3 star(s)

    We are given some background information on Fortunato and a little on Montresor. Fortunato is a wine expert; because of this, he can get drunk but he is also very prideful of himself, and his expertise. Montresor "was skilful in the Italian vintages" himself. This obviously links to the title, making us, the reader, excited to see how the Amontillado fits into the story, and how important it is. Edgar A. Poe then adds tension by giving us a setting. It is "dusk, one evening". It's set during "the supreme madness of the carnival season".

    • Word count: 2515
  2. Tales of terror

    The words Mr White uses to describe the area creates an element of mystery. Jacobs builds up suspense even further by describing the wintry weather, "the night was cold and wet", and at night in the middle of nowhere, the slightest of sounds or movements seems a lot scarier. Jacob creates a setting where the audience expects something to go wrong. Jacob also uses characters attitudes and dialogue to create suspense, which brings a sense of effect to the story. For example, Mrs white suddenly shouts "The paw!.. The monkey's paw!". This immediately builds up pace and suspense to the story as the reader doesn't know what has caused Mrs White's uproar.

    • Word count: 1491
  3. How does the writer create suspense in the Tell Tale Heart?

    This is said throughout the story, starting from the first paragraph and the reader starts to understand what the murderer is really like. My final example is "it grew louder- louder- louder!" This adds to the point of how loud it really was and by repeating it exaggerates how it was. It also gives you a clear image of this, as it is repeated throughout the paragraphs. As a last point, I would like to explain the effect of using repetition.

    • Word count: 2348
  4. The Tell Tale Heart. I believe the narrator is insane because for some strange reason, the narrator was obsessed with the old mans eye.

    He grew furious when he did see the eye and new inside that he must murder this old man because of his eye to soothe his, and it took him eight days to do so and I bet if he had the chance on the first day he would have murdered him then. It is hard to imagine why a person's eye would bother another person enough to kill, but some people are truly mad.

    • Word count: 474
  5. How does poe create tension in BBC and TTH

    In both stories Poe uses a variety of techniques to convey his dramatic version of the gothic horror genre. He uses repetition through the rule of three, punctuation and simple sentences, settings and pathetic fallacy, the main homodiegetic narrator and innocent side characters as well as some significant supernatural events. These all help achieve the effective, dramatic gothic horror story. Another technique used by Poe is repetition including the use of the rule of 3. In 'the tell tale heart' the pace of the story quickens when Poe used the repetition in the rule of three.

    • Word count: 663
  6. The Tell Tale Heart is a story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1843. It is written in first person, which is a very good technique used by Poe in order to make us feel closer and more involved in the story

    This gives us an impression for the first time that there is something wrong with him. The narrator describes the old man's eye as ''that of vulture-pale blue eye, with film over it''. He is obsessed with the evil eye and believes that the only way to free himself is to murder the old man. The writer uses different features to encourage us to understand every scene of the story through every aspect. These features are mainly represented through the setting, time and characters in the story. The setting of the story is described as a dark and scary place.

    • Word count: 1110
  7. Edgar Allen Poe

    In the Cask of Amontillado, the story began at around dusk during a carnival season. But this location suddenly jumped, as Fortunato was lured back to Montresor's house and into the catacomb. The readers can see the obvious antithesis as the carnival alludes to happiness, life and the joyful social interactions and the catacomb symbolises evil, darkness and death. 'Passed through long walls of piled skeletons...' 'Moisture trickle among the bones.', 'walls lined with human remains...' These repeated hints of the bones lining the catacomb walls foreshadow the story's descent into the underworld and Fortunato walking to his death.

    • Word count: 847
  8. How does Edgar Allen Poe create an atmosphere of suspense and tension in The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart?

    However "The Black Cat" is set over a much longer period of time. This is effective because it gives us the feeling that the narrator is slowly going mad. "I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable". This tells us that he is changing in a bad way. Also in "The Black Cat" The murder is not as planned as in "The Tell-Tale Heart". He was not even planning to kill his wife. However in "The Tell-Tale Heart" the narrator plans his murder for over a week.

    • Word count: 1545
  9. How does Edgar Allan Poe keep the reader in suspence in 'The Tell tale heart'

    This gets the reader thinking and anticipating something is going to happen. Examples of when Poe uses time in a slow manor is when he says 'I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him' so this shows that him killing this man is a slow, well planned, patient build up. He says that he was kind to the man for a whole week, so this must have been planned for a while, so this whole process helps to build up suspense and get the reader anxious.

    • Word count: 1763
  10. How Doyle and Poe represent crime in their stories

    Poe's loathsome criminal, acts as the protagonist, and narrates the story, 'I killed ...I put...I undid'. The pronoun 'I' indicates that the criminal is referring to himself, providing the reader with a clear image of what the criminal's intentions and actions are, presenting the crime. There are no extra elements in Poe, no subplots, no minor characters, and no digressions except those that show the madness of deranged first-person ("I") narrators. This further gives the impression that the criminal is obsessed with himself and is over confident, thinking that he is '...wise...', talented and very cunning, wanting to make the point clear that he is doing the right thing very carefully.

    • Word count: 1923
  11. The Black Cat

    The opening is unusual because of his proposal when he says 'tomorrow, I will die'. Also he gives the storyline but without detail, is this to misguide us? We never usually see this in a story. I think the story is about someone who has been involved in a series of unfortunate household events that 'have terrified, have tortured and have destroyed' him. The general tone is a frightened and worried one because he says how it has affected him and used powerful language, such as 'tortured'.

    • Word count: 1137
  12. Gothic Tales and Edgar Allan Poe

    His incentive was unreasonable; he states that there is no other reason than his eye. In The Black Cat his reason for the first killing of his cat Pluto was "perverseness...for no other reason than because he knows he should not?" In this part of the passage it seems strange as he seems to be excusing himself for the sin he is about to narrate to us. Then also at the end of the story when he kills his wife because she stopped him from killing the second cat he says, "...this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife.

    • Word count: 1675
  13. tension and suspense of the tell tale heart

    The narrator claims that he loves the old man but just didn't like his eye. Poe creates panic in the narrator's voice, and the reader senses growing tension in the narrators voice. The narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" tells his murder of the old man.As he tells the story in first-person, the reader cannot tell how much of what he says is true as he is an unreliable narrator as it is only saying from one point of view. This creates tension. The setting is in two different places as one part is in the house which i think is near other houses as it says "a shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night."

    • Word count: 1000
  14. Edgar Allan Poe 'Tell Tale Heart' and 'the fall of the house of Usher

    Poe uses different techniques to create a chilling atmosphere. When the murderer goes to the old man's bedroom every night, the atmosphere is supernatural and the pace slows down to match the actions of the murderer, 'cautiously - oh, so cautiously - cautiously', this delays the pace of the language, creating suspense, so that the reader is almost hypnotized, especially with the use of repetition which adds to the feeling of apprehension. On top of that, in order for Poe to create a menacing atmosphere, he uses personification of death.

    • Word count: 2160
  15. Edgar Allan Poe 'Tell Tale Heart' and 'the fall of the house of Usher

    The rhetorical question that Poe uses, 'why will you say that I am mad?' is a good literary device as it involves the reader and builds a relationship through the dialogue between the narrator and the reader, engaging the audience and makes the reader believe that maybe the narrator doubts the stability of his own mind. All these factors show the reader the narrator has an agitated mind and strongly suggest the narrator's insanity. Poe develops an image of a disturbed person in the first paragraph, who hears voices in his head.

    • Word count: 3121
  16. How does Poe create a picture of the psychotic/insane central character?

    Moreover, during the story the central character is constantly trying to convince the reader that he is not insane. However the more you go on, the more you realise that he is mad: "I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever". This shows that he is incredible obsessive and clearly confused in his mind, which is a sign of madness. The insane obsession he gets with the old man's eye takes over his mind and leads him to murder. In addition, the graphical and intense descriptions help you enter the narrator's mind "He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it.

    • Word count: 1091
  17. 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.

    Once strangling the cat, Edgar Allan Poe "deliberately cut out one of its eyes." This is extremely irrational behavior and happens so quickly. This conjures a lot of fear in the reader, and this man has suddenly taken part in a brutal, cold-blooded slaughter. The language used is very provocative and emotive throughout the story, and this is couple by a detached tone. The immediate shift from being 'normal' to suddenly growing mad and irrational is complex and acute. At the beginning of the next paragraph, he describes himself to be having a "feeble and equivocal feeling," showing that he perhaps doesn't realise what he has just done.

    • Word count: 2381
  18. How does Edger Allan Poe Use Language to Create a Sense of Drama Intention in the Opening of "The Tell-Tale Heart?"

    It is not yet made clear to the reader as to why the narrator is excited in this manner, he appears to be worked up about something, causing the reader to grow curious and excited themselves about the prospect of finding out what is causing his fuss. Poe has used the tactic of withholding information strongly within the first paragraph, causing the monologue to become somewhat of a gradual revelation. This allows Poe to hold the reader in suspense, consequentially creating a heightened level of dramatic tension.

    • Word count: 1867
  19. Compare and contrast the narrative techniques used in three or more of Edgar Allan Poe's tales.

    The beginning of the story begins with a flashback of when the old man was killed, immediately from this point we become aware that the narrator is actually mad, even though he continuously challenges the fact that this is not true. As the story continues the events are in chronological order as there is build up of suspense, and the mad man exposes that he has to murder the old man because of the threat from his eye, therefore every night he slowly places his head round the bedroom door allowing a tiny sliver of light to shine through upon the old mans sleeping face, searching for the eye which he greatly despised.

    • Word count: 4196
  20. Comparison of The Raven and The Erlking

    I will be using this structure for each point I will discuss. I will start by analysing 'The Raven'. The main principle of Edgar Allen Poe's poem was to have a lasting effect on its reader. Shortly, before he wrote 'The Raven', Poe's wife had been diagnosed with an illness. This illness was later the cause of her death soon after he had finalised is poem. It is said that this poem is his forecast of what was going to happen to his wife. This is, therefore, the reason why he chose a raven to be the main character, because it was thought to be the most evil bird.

    • Word count: 1460
  21. Compare the two nineteenth century horror stories, 'The Black Cat' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart' by Edgar Allan Poe, showing how Poe uses a range of techniques to make his stories dramatic and effective.

    That night the house burnt down and engraved on the wall was the figure of a cat. Later on in the story the narrator tells us of how he found a cat that closely resembled the one he had killed. The cat would never leave his side which started to make him hate the creature. He was walking down the steps of the cellar one day with his wife when the cat followed and sent him headlong down the steps. In fury he picked up an axe and aimed a blow at the cat. His wife tried to stop him so he buried the axe into her brain.

    • Word count: 1819
  22. Conventions of the Gothic Horror - The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

    We come to the night of the murder, and the young man is almost caught spying on him as the old man wakes from his sleep terrified, the time comes and the young man leaps into the room, throws the man to the floor and pulls the bed over him. He dies. Chopping the body into pieces and carefully hiding them under the floor boards the police call round about a scream they were informed of, the man is not afraid, but as he sits there chatting away to them calmly a ticking fills his ears and no matter what he tries it gets worse and worse until he finally goes mad and confesses to the police of his crime.

    • Word count: 1040
  23. The Fall of the House of Usher- Essay

    "The Fall of the House of Usher" is typical of Poe's short stories in that it presents a narrator thrust into a psychologically intense situation in which otherworldly forces conspire to drive at least one of the characters insane. Firstly, the setting of "The Fall of the House of Usher" plays an integral part in the story because it establishes an atmosphere of dreariness, melancholy, and decay. The intro takes place in the Usher family mansion, which is isolated and located in a "singularly dreary tract of country."

    • Word count: 516
  24. Comparison between "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe and "Stone Cold" by Robert Swindells.

    Although he can hear it extremely loudly in his ears the police can't hear it at all. So he tells the police what he had done. I think this is a clever way of expressing the man's insanity and it sets the scene well. Robert Swindells' "Stone Cold" however is slightly different. At the beginning of Daily routine Orders 15, Shelter, who is insane, is laughing this shows that he is mad because he also does this at the end of the chapter.

    • Word count: 546
  25. What have you found interesting about the ways in which Poe makes his murderers tell their stories? How has the writing made you react to the murderers and the deeds?

    I have chosen these stories because they clearly represent the way in which the narrators of Poe's stories tell their own accounts, as if they were out of Poe's control. However we can tell as we move further into the story that the narrators perhaps reveal more to the narrators than actually intended. The narrators of the stories also use persuasive language in their accounts of the stories in an attempt to almost win over the reader into thinking what they have done is not actually sick and wrong but was the right thing to do.

    • Word count: 1677

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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