ENG1DB Formal Persuasive Paragraph Example
- Does Edgar Allan Poe use suspense techniques effectively in this short story?
(Topic ‘Hook’)Imagine waking up suddenly in the middle of the night to the feeling that someone else is in the room, watching and waiting, ready to attack. This terrifying and suspenseful scenario, and others like it, are often created by skilled authors in order to build intense moments of anticipation for readers, so that the content of their story is more engaging, causing readers to flip eagerly to the next page in order to discover what chilling event will happen next. (Thesis Statement) Similarly, in the gripping short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, by Edgar Allan Poe, suspense techniques are used effectively in order to compel readers to keep reading and to reinforce the eerie tone of the text through an excellent use of first-person narration and time constraints. (Point #1)By way of example, first-person narration is dramatically employed by Poe as a suspense technique in the story in order to relay the events of the plot from the unreliable and unpredictable perspective of a madman who consistently denies his distorted point of view, which enhances suspense as readers are unable to anticipate his actions or trust his assertions. (Proof #1) The suspenseful effect of this narrative perspective is successfully proven in the story when the unstable narrator states, “It is impossible to say how the idea first entered my brain, but once conceived, it haunted me day and night” (Poe 1). (Analysis #1) This quotation effectively exemplifies that the strange narrator has no logical explanation for his ominous behaviour, but that he is distinctly obsessed with the old man’s eye nevertheless, therefore emphasizing his erratic narration and stirring deep feelings of suspense and dread in the reader as the destruction of ‘the eye’ is anticipated. Also, the use of the word “haunted” emphasizes the unsettling atmosphere of the story, and personifies the old man’s eye as an evil entity that is tormenting the narrator (Poe 1). Ironically, however, it is actually the narrator himself who is stealthily ‘haunting’ the old man in the middle of the night, plotting his murder as if it is a sinister game.(Point #2) In addition, Edgar Allan Poe effectively highlights the importance of timing in the story as a suspense technique in order to make the reader acutely aware of both the passage and pressures associated with time in the text. (Proof #2) For example, the significance of timing is clearly proven when the narrator bluntly states, “The night waned and I worked hastily in silence” in order to explain his desperate desire to hide the old man’s body after the murder so that he can avoid detection (Poe 4). (Analysis #2)Consequently, the tension and apprehension that these time limitations create for the reader ultimately enhance the overall level of suspense, as readers follow the deranged narrator through his sinister plotting, his heinous crime, andhis resulting attempt at a cover-up.Also, there is an undeniable sense of urgency created by the first-person narration because readers are told that the eye must be destroyed, and soon. Most significant to this particular suspense technique, however, is the fact that the narrator has a limited amount of time to dismember and hide the old man’s body beneath the floorboards so that his crime canremain undetected. Therefore, the narrator must work quickly through the darkness of the night to hide his dark deeds.(Concluding sentences with restated thesis in different words) As a result, Edgar Allan Poe employs a variety of suspense techniquessuccessfully in order stir intense feelings of anxiety and nail-biting fear in his readers; purposeful techniques that linger menacingly beyond the story’s final sentence. In conclusion, as Edgar Allan Poe once said fittingly, “Horror is for literary amateurs, but suspense is a technique that can only be conveyed by literary masters”; a point that is poignantly exemplified through his own suspense masterpiece, “The Tell-Tale Heart”(Poe Quotations.com). It truly is a classic story that leaves its readers with a memorable sense of heart-pounding dread, and an inability to feel settled in the darkness, perhaps ever again…thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump….