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GCSE: Edgar Allan Poe

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Edgar Allan Poe

    In 1832 Poe moved in with his aunt and his 11 year old cousin in Baltimore. Poe then married his younger cousin in 1836. However, Poe did not know that he would suffer yet another terrible loss, the loss of his love, his wife. Poe's ability to write literature was the window for him to express his feelings. All of Poe's tragic losses affected the way he wrote. Poe used his life experiences to make his writing a lot more interesting. Poe's writing is remarkably interesting. The poem "The Raven" showed how Poe erected a crazed state of mind, as the poem shows how the loss or a loved one drove a person crazy.

    • Word count: 1005
  16. Explore the ways Shakespeare presents Edgar as a Christ like figure in the play "King Lear"

    take on a new identity, that of "Poor Tom" he announces this to the audience; he also announces that he is a wanted person. Throughout this soliloquy, there is an image of Christ on the cross he states "In contempt of man" this is showing that Edgar believes that man is a dreadful creature. He refers to "Bedlam beggars" which is men who come from or pretended to come from the hospital of Bethlehem, and were known at the time where the insane gather in London.

    • Word count: 1304
  17. THE RAVEN by Edgar Allen Poe

    Poe believed that the saddest and most beautiful event was the death of a beautiful woman. Everyone understands the passion of beauty. 'Beauty' excites the 'sensitive soul to tears' thus melancholy and beauty are close allies. Poe considered sadness to be the highest manifestation of beauty. The first and second verses set the theme and atmosphere of the poem- Once upon a midnight dreary.............. Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December.......... The description of the setting in the opening two stanzas of the poem depict that of a dismal nature. The tone proves to be forlorn with the help of phrases like 'midnight dreary, weak and weary, bleak December and sorrow for the lost Lenore.

    • Word count: 1182
  18. Within 'The tell-tale heart' the author has to convince the reader that the main character is mad

    His childhood was pretty dull but he did study for 5 years in the University of Virginia, he stayed there for 1 year. 'Although a good student, he ran up large gambling debts that Allan refused to pay. Allan prevented his return to the university and broke off Poe's engagement to Sarah Elmira Royster' (taken from http://bau2.uibk.ac.at/sg/poe/Bio.html). The genre of this short story is gothic horror. The story is about an unnamed character who murders a man because he has an eye he dislikes.

    • Word count: 1052
  19. Throughout this essay I will be comparing and contrasting Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Black Cat' and 'The Cask of Amontillado'.

    The reason this murder actually takes place is also due to the carnival, as during it a lot of social boundaries are dropped and laws are less firmly enforced which gives him this chance to 'get away with murder'. The deed itself is set deep in Montressors cellar, his catacombs, which provides is with a very gothic atmosphere. The deeper they descend into the cellar can also been seen as irony for descending into h**l which gives us another layer to the setting of this tale.

    • Word count: 1967
  20. Through the character Hagar Currie Shipley from the novel "The Stone Angel" by Margaret Laurence and Edgar Gallant, we can see that life experience and religion have certain affects on people which may change as they grow older

    I should be used to it. So many years I waited at the Shipley's place..." We see here that Hagar does not feel comfortable in the present being given a substance she does not know. Therefore Hagar leaves the present in search of a situation she has been in previously where she knows what will happen. Hagar does not only escape from the present mentally but also physically. Even though Hagar is a very proud woman, she becomes progressively more powerless to care for herself and therefore becomes an unbearable tension on her son, Marvin and his wife, Doris.

    • Word count: 1918
  21. Edgar Allan Poe Essay

    I saw it with perfect distinctness - all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot." That shows how he describes almost everything giving you a great idea of what was happening and how he repeated words to give a incredible sense of fear. Another method used by Edgar Allan Poe to illustrate the obsessions of his characters is that they all were slightly mixed up in the head, almost all of his characters were crazy giving you the feeling that maybe you wouldn't like to know them.

    • Word count: 1435
  22. Show how Edgar Allan Poe uses language to create atmosphere and describe the state of mind of the murderer

    However, in America, Poes stories were rejected for their sordidity and gore. Despite this they became very popular in Europe along with the Gothic and Romantic movements in art and literature. The story starts with a very abrupt attention grabbing opening. The word 'TRUE' not only starts the story with a burst of tension, it also makes the reader want to read on further to try and find out what is true. Poe also uses short, intense sentences to increase suspence and atmosphere. He uses this technique throughout the story whenever he needs to renew the tension.Straight away the murderer begins to argue his sanity.

    • Word count: 1009
  23. How is tension created in 'The tell tale hearts' and 'The black cat'?

    People are most wary of little things, sounds and sights like shadows in the dark and will be on edge. Darkness and nighttime are famously scary and unsafe, portrayed in novels and films as when everything bad happens and now is the stereotypical view. The darkness seems like a disability, vision is not fully available, and the brain starts so wander as to if anything could be round the corner, lurking, waiting because almost certainly people will feel that something bad is going to happen.

    • Word count: 1991
  24. The Father of Modern Detective Stories - Edgar Allan Poe

    His poems and short tales are considered original and usually have a tinge of mystery in them. Edgar Allan Poe produced important literacy criticisms. Edgar Allan Poe's parents, David Poe Jr. and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins died when he was only three years old. His parents were touring actors. After his parents' death, John Allan, a prosperous merchant in Richmond, VA, took in Poe. He was then baptized Edgar Allan Poe. Other than the death of his parents, he had a rather uneventful childhood.

    • Word count: 1051
  25. 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''?

    Both narrators feel offended by their victims. In ''The cask of Amontillado'' the focus in on revenge. ''THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.'' The narrator plans revenge upon his victim, Fortunato. Revenge implies that the narrator was keen on harming his victim. This statement alerts the reader that something horrible will happen thus creating a sense of tension. In ''The Tell-Tale Heart'', the narrator claims to be offended by his victims eye. He was not offended by the person whom he killed but is focused on putting an end to his torment.

    • Word count: 1119

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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