Literary Devices In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

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Literary elements are incorporated in every type of writing composition: poems, novels, legends etc. Authors use them to create a more interesting plotline and to engage the readers in their story. Edgar Allan Poe used literary devices in his short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart” to make the narrative interesting enough to keep the reader hooked. That’s an author’s job. Poe incorporates tone, conflict and gothic elements into his story to create a more appealing read. Conflict is essential in a narrative. A conflict drives the plot or the action of a story and draws us into the characters life, giving us a relation from us to their problems. A connection between us and the character(s) can make the read more riveting. Poe used internal and external …show more content…
The narrator’s tone in this helps create a setting and feeling. It assists in the character’s emotions and it builds the reader up for the climax. Poe wrote that "Melancholy is (…) the most legitimate of all the poetical tones" (163). This is a tone he used quite often in all his stories to express his emotions. The extent of Poe's use of dark or sad tones can be found in his work although it varies widely from piece to piece. Poe’s tone is overwrought, dark, frantic and intense throughout this whole short story. “Was it possible they heard it not? Almighty God!-no, no! They heard!” (3). In this excerpt from the literary work, the narrator is rising into a frantic panic, unraveling from his previous state of “calm” madness. The heart’s beating creates a fast-paced setting, a rising action. His writing is very intense throughout the whole piece, leaving no room for thought. The tone envelopes the story in a dark theme, creating gothic …show more content…
“How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily—how calmly I can tell you the whole story.” (1) Such use of words create strong and heightened emotions. Thriller comes into play at the beginning of the writing when the main character sneaks into the old man’s room every night. The whole setting is quite chilling and the use of words and exclamation creates tension and anxiety. The old man’s “vulture eye” (1) adds to the mystery of the whole piece. This motif is the object of mystery. What about the eye compels the narrator to murder the man? He feels such hatred for the old man eye to the extent of wanting to kill him. The eye relates directly to the reason behind the murder but for what reason exactly the narrator despised the eye, remains a mystery to the reader. Horror develops throughout this whole story, becoming the main theme. “Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief-oh, no!-it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe.” (2) The horror woven into this quote, creates a frightening atmosphere and even demonstrates how insane the narrator truly is. The character seems to be enjoying the old man’s feel of terror, soaking up these dark emotions like a sponge. People in their deep and darkest minds all feel pleasure with pain they inflict on others. Poe also uses a term

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