Use Of Guilt By Nathaniel Hawthorne And The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

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Guilt is the fact or knowing one of committing a specified offense. If you do something wrong that hurts someone else, you feel guilty. Guilt is a valuable emotion, because it helps to maintain your ties to the people in your community. It provides a painful consequence for actions that would weaken your in public view. In the excerpts from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, they both share a common thematic message of guilt manipulating one's thinking. This is done by Hawthorne by his use of dour diction and lengthy syntax and Poe’s use of shifting dictions and repeating syntax.
Primarily, Hawthorne constructed this message of guilt controlling one’s thinking by using these grim phrases
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The meaning of shifting diction is that the beginning of the excerpt was the character feeling safe and having no difficulties. This was represented by the uses of the terms, “cheerily”, “ease”, and “satisfied”. Towards the ending of the passage, the character becomes uncomfortable and the diction shift begins to happen. This is represented by the use of the words almost opposite of the start of the passage, “violent”, “dull”, “raved”, and “hideous”. Summarizing the excerpt, the character has just murdered a man and placed his dead body under the floorboards. When the police show up, the character is confident that they will never suspect him of this crime but once they start to mention the man’s whereabouts, he starts to feel the guilt and thinks that the officers know he killed the man. The narrator says, “It was a low dull, quick sound—much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton.” (Poe 8-9) This is the character’s thinking that is believing the dead man’s heartbeat can still be heard. It is now evident how the feeling of guilt he has is manipulating his thinking. Poe utilizes the repeating syntax to also show the emphasis of the buildup. The quote, “I felt that I must scream or die!--and now--again!--hark! Louder! Louder! Louder! Louder! . . . ” (Poe 20-21), has many pauses and repeating the word “Louder”. This is done because the author displays how the character’s body language and thoughts is affected based on the feeling of guilt he has. The feeling that he must “scream or die”, is derived from his emotion and manipulation of

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