The Monkeys Paw by W.W Jacobs and the Tell Tale Heart written by Edgar Allan Poe are two gothic short stories written in the early 20th century.

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How is Suspense and Tension created within the Monkey’s Paw and the Tell Tale Heart?

“The Monkeys Paw” by W.W Jacobs and the “Tell Tale Heart” written by Edgar Allan Poe are two gothic short stories written in the early 20th century. Edgar Allan Poe was a famous author of horror novels, short stories, poems, essays and plays, which could be the reason behind “The Tell-Tale Heart” having death and gothic as a theme. W.W Jacobs was also a writer of a similar genre which is one of the reason behind, why many of his writings have deep meanings. “The Tell Tale Heart” was written during the Victorian era and is based upon the themes of Gothic Horror. He unravels the story `of a caretaker who has an obsession of getting rid of an old man’s eye whom he cared for. Whereas “The Monkey’s paw” is about a distant friend who has possession of a cursed shriveled monkey’s paw that grants three wishes to each man that obtains it.

 One of the most well known techniques used in the “Tell Tale Heart” to create tension and suspense is the use of varied punctuation such as exclamation marks ‘TRUE!’ and dashes ‘…-nervous—very…’, which can increase the momentum. Poe uses repetition throughout the story, which contributes to adding more suspense to the story, it also slows the pace of the story therefore increasing the tension the reader feels.

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The idea of time is referenced through the use of a watch; this is to give us a sense of how much time has passed, although it may be a symbol saying, as each tick of the watch symbolizes a movement closer to the inevitable death of the old man. “A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine”. As you can see, he compares himself to a watch, suggesting it is he himself who is counting down until the old man’s death, as he is the one in control.

The narrator hears the beating heart ...

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