In both stories the setting is mostly in a house. It is also not described in great detail in either story. This is done to create more mystery. This has the effect of the readers not knowing where the story is set and makes us think that it could be happening anywhere and at anytime. Even in your neighbour’s house, which creates a sense of tension and suspense. The other reason why the setting is not described in detail only really applies for “The Tell-Tale Heart”. And this is the sense of darkness. In the dark you cannot see anything. So if the setting were described in detail the reader would think that it is set at daytime. Even though it does say that it is night time in the story, “every night, about midnight”. If it did not, we would still probably know it was set in the night. Part of the setting in “The Black Cat” is in a cellar. This creates suspense by giving us the feeling of a tomb or a crypt because of the underground nature.
In ‘The Black Cat” the narrator is aware of his own mental deterioration. He admits that he has changed but not that he is mad. He assures us, “Yet, mad am I not”. This is similar to “The Tell-Tale heart” but in this story the narrator believes he is better than everyone else. “The disease had sharpened my senses”. However he does mention a ‘disease’, which makes him sound mad because no disease really sharpens your senses. The narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” is made to sound evil by him being proud of the murder, which is the most chilling aspect of him. In both stories the characters are not described in very much detail. We do not know the narrators name, what he looks like or details. However in “The Black Cat” We do know a few things about his earlier life. Other characters like the policemen are not given any individual identities and seem almost incompetent.
Both “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” are written in the slice of life form. One reason this is done is because they are short stories and if there was a lot of information they would get too long, the story would get off the point and the reader might get bored. In a short story like these it goes strait into the action, which gets the reader more engaged into the action. In both stories the title is very relative to the stories and gives the reader a clue what the story might be about. The title of “The Black Cat” is simple but explanatory. The reader straight away knows it will probably be a scary story because black cats are often referred to as bad luck and evil. Also in the story the cat is called ‘Pluto’ which is the Greek god of the underworld. The title of “The Tell-Tale Heart” is also relevant because it implies that the heart kept beating after death and exposed the murder. It also gets the reader interested because the title sounds a bit strange. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” the tension and pace varies. For example near the end in both stories after the murder has been done the narrator is very relaxed. “I smiled, -for what had I to fear”. The creates less tension and makes the reader think he has got away with it. However, right at the end of the story when he is found out the tension rises drastically. “I had walled the monster up within the tomb”. This makes the tension rise and also creates a dramatic ending.
In both stories but mostly in “The Tell-Tale Heart” there is a large amount of repetition. In “The Black Cat” There is a bit for example the repetition of “Brute Beast”. Which has the idea of the cat being a brute because he hates it so much and a beast and not just an animal. However in “The Tell-Tale Heart” there is a lot more repetition. Which is mostly used in the same way. “It grew quicker and quicker and, and louder and louder every instant”. This builds up the tension as the heart beats faster. The story is written in first person narrative. “Yet, mad am I not-“ and “I looked around triumphantly”. This has the effect of the narrator talking to the reader. This is more used in “The Tell-Tale Heart” because in the beginning he even shouts at the reader, which immediately lets you know he is talking to you and it also makes him sound mad. “The Black Cat” is written as more of diary. You can tell by the way it is written and how he mentions he is in jail. As it is in first person narrative and the narrator is obviously mad the events may be told inaccurate. The use of dashes in both stories questions the narrators sanity because they are used to break the phrases up which makes him sound unstable. But it also makes feel as though he is speaking to us.
There is also quite a large use of CAPITALS and italics. For example in “The Tell-Tale Heart” when it says “but you should have seen me”. This shows us how great he thinks he is and how he considers himself not mad. In “The Black Cat” the use of “GALLOWS” stands out because it is written in capitals and because he is facing the gallows now.
In “The Black Cat” Poe uses very long, complex sentences at the start. Which slows down the pace. Later, the sentences become short and simple, this builds up the pace and thereby the suspense. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” many of the sentences in the beginning of the story are questions to the reader. “But why will you say that I am mad”. Most of these being about him not being mad. This makes us think why he is saying this and what he has done. In “The Black Cat” the narrator chooses words to describe himself. “Docility and humanity of my disposition”. The idea of the black cat being evil creates superstition because of the idea of witchcraft. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” words like “cautiously”, “stealthily” and “steadily” slow things down, and then things like “quicker and quicker” speed things up. This adds to the quickening in repetition and pace.
There are many similarities between the stories “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Things like the plot and the setting not being described in great detail. This is partly because the same person writes them but also because they are the same kind of short story. There are a few differences between the two poems like the fact that there are a lot more details given about the narrator in “The Black Cat” and also the murder is quite different in the two stories. But apart from that the structure is pretty much the same. Personally I think that the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” was more insane partly because of the way he murdered the old man and the reason but also generally the way he acts he really strange. But I thought that both stories were as good as each other