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The Construction Of Poe's Works

4 Pages 1098 Words

The Construction of Poe’s Works

All writers have their own style of writing. This is no different with Edgar Allen Poe and his pessimistic style. Aristotle said that unities in every story were time (usually twenty four hours), place (one or two), and characters (one or two). However, Poe added effect to his stories and poetry. He did all of this by writing his poetry or short story so that it caught the reader’s attention quickly. Because, “if any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with the immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression—for, if two sittings be required, the affairs of the world interfere, and every thing like totality is at once destroyed.” For this very reason, he used “en medias res,” which is starting the story right where the action begins, in the middle. This keeps the reader’s attention because there is no leading up to the climax, we are thrown into it as soon as we start reading.
Edgar Allen Poe’s murder stories have a few distinct characteristics. First, the narrator is usually a psychopathological murderer. Second, the opening dialogue is usually the narrator telling the readers of his act. Third, they have a secretive burial of the body. And fourth, because Poe is interested in the psychology of the criminal, the murderer feels psychological uneasiness.
We see all of these characteristics in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Tell Tale Heart. Poe obviously wanted the murder to be the climax of the story because he told us in the second paragraph that he had made up his mind, “to take the life of the old man, and this rid [himself] of the eye forever” (2420). As with all of Poe’s short stories the opening dialogue is usually the murderer talking about his murderous act. Poe takes us to the murder scene by telling us the events of carrying out his plot. So obviously the murder has already taken pla...

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