How Did Edgar Allan Poe Build Suspense

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Edgar Allan Poe is widely regarded as one of literature’s pioneers for the horror and crime genre. His influence has inspired countless writers, including Stephen King, to follow the path of this genre he so thoughtfully initiated. In many of Poe’s works, readers will also see considerable amounts of perversion in the narrators that can be off-putting, yet add interest to the story line, as these episodes are not seen in everyday life. Poe’s work is greatly acclaimed for its use of what is known as an unreliable narrator in stories such as The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart. Suspense is another characteristic seen in Poe’s stories, and narrative poems, which leaves his audience longing to reach the conclusion in order to determine exactly what sorts of evils were at work. These characteristics combined …show more content…
Like The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe relies on word choice, and repetition in The Raven to establish a suspenseful vibe. This theory can be proven in the first passage of the story. The story begins on a dreary night at midnight when the narrator hears “someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door,” (Lauter 2539). The word gentle implies a delicate, creeping action. Coupling “gently” with the repetition of the word rapping and the dark, dreary setting is successful in formulating a macabre atmosphere. Even Annabel Lee, a poem seemingly about unconditional and passionate love, incorporated components that created tension the reader could sense in the ambiance of the setting. The narrator expresses the resentfulness angels in heaven felt toward the love shared between him and his wife, Annabel Lee (Lauter 2545). When first learning this, the audience grows suspicious of the upcoming events, as if something grim is

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