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GCSE: Edgar Allan Poe

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Compare and Contrast "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe and "A Confession Found In A Prison In The Time Of Charles II" by Charles Dickens

    The motive to kill is that he sees the boy's mother in the eyes of the boy. I know this because it says 'His mother's ghost was looking from his eyes'. 'I was afraid of her, she haunted me', this makes the situation worse because it adds to the motive for killing the boy. The boy could also be a problem in the future. We know quite quickly that all is not well for both narrators because they both hint of the outcome, and confess early. In 'A confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II' the narrator says 'I will set down the naked truth without disguise' showing that he will reveal the whole story.

    • Word count: 3366
  4. By comparing‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ with ‘Hop Frog’ discuss the ways in which the writersportray the central characters.

    The narrator of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' has instead a room. It is describes as having 'barred' widows and a 'nailed down' bed, which give the impression of a prison rather than a place to become well again in. In fact the room actually does become a prison for the narrator, becoming more and more horrible as the story progresses. By the repetitive use of the word, 'joke' in the first paragraph Poe emphasises the discomfort of Hop Frog as well as achieving a hugely tense atmosphere.

    • Word count: 3405
  5. Both authors have to convince the reader that the main character is mad. How do they do this? Which portrayal is more effective? Why? Bradbury and Poe.

    An example of this is on page 81, when Acton is trying to make everything seem 'normal'. Bradbury begins: "[Acton] had never thought of himself as a sculptor and yet, ... he realised that by some sculptural clenching and remodelling ... he had changed [Huxley's] physiognomy." Bradbury succeeds in developing an impressive picture of the character's outlook, by describing in detail many of his ideas and feelings, which may not have made such an impact had Acton been describing what he felt to the reader; knowingly or not he would have actually 'interpreted' his feelings for the reader and this would be unlikely to have been as effective.

    • Word count: 4384
  6. ‘The Black Cat’ and ‘The Squaw’ are both short stories from the sub-genre of horror fiction. How are evil and the supernatural presented in each of the stories? Compare and contrast the two stories.

    The title, The Black Cat gives the reader a feeling that the story is going to involve evil or magic, in some way, because black cats are commonly thought of as bad or evil, and as witches in disguise, however, when the reader reads the title, The Squaw, they are given a much less vivid impression. A squaw is an American Indian woman or wife, but most people don't know this. This means that the reader doesn't really know what to expect from the story.

    • Word count: 3014
  7. Pre 1900 prose stories : Analysis of “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allen Poe and “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W.Jacobs

    Horror stories have being created to subvert the normal order; this makes them popular with audiences and readers because people have an obsession and fascination with the supernatural, metaphysical goings on. The stories take you deep into the inner workings of the human mind. They really make you think and bring out the darker side of your personality in the stories. The stories are mystifying and fear provoking and leave you with a lump in you're thought and butterflies in your stomach.

    • Word count: 3162

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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