Edgar Allan Poe’s Suspenseful Style Techniques

Everyone can be scared to watch a horror movie, and wish to stop, but yet still watch it because it leads to wanting to know who’s going to kill whom or perhaps who really committed a crime. The audience can agree that if a book or film is more scary the better it is as in Edgar Allan Poe’s many works.

Throughout the usage of imagery, diction, mood, and tone he produces mystery and uncertainty of truth. About all of his short tales and poems include darkness and insanity in one of the characters. Poe uses suspenseful style techniques to create fear, but interest or curiosity in the reader to know what will happen next. Imagery is one of the most common techniques used when writing gothic literature. In fact, Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, creates a sense of fear towards the audience when Poe writes, ‘’.

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..down under the ground, deep under the old walls of my palace” (1904). Indeed, this lets the reader know that something mysterious is going on; leading to ask “Why is he so creepy?” or “Why is the setting causing an eerie feeling?”. Even more, the spectator can picture Fortunato, the man who Montresor seeks revenge towards, “.

.. pulling at the chain, shaking it wildly” (Poe,1904). Because of the event’s descriptions, there is a result of causing anxiety. In this case, imagery leads the author to create suspense and a clear perspective of what is happening. In Poe’s short tale, “The Raven”diction and tone cause a feeling of doubt and wonder.

With this intention, Poe uses diction through repetition of the word “nevermore” which could symbolize or mean several things. Throughout the story, the speaker starts a road of confusion for him and the reader when stating, “Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird …” and”.

.. thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or devil!” (“The Raven” 52 and 91).Meaning, that the narrator and audience does not know anymore the purpose of the bird; “Is it for good or bad?”. This also develops the tone of mystery and doubt because out of the nowhere this bird came, especially at “a midnight dreary” (“The Raven” 1).

Because Poe’s writing techniques are so suspenseful, they emphasize curiosity in the reader. The reader may think the narrator in Poe’s story is saying or confessing the truth,but there is suspicion of what is really true, as in Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee”. It starts out with a romantic mood, but later turns gloomy and devastating when the narrator states, “…we loved with a love that was more than love” and “.

..killing my Annabel Lee” (9 and 26). This explains how throughout the story the reader really cannot be certain if Annabel really loved the narrator or if he just had an obsession and/or was jealous of her getting married to someone else. The mood later turns bitter and and cold suggesting that he killed her because he thought that, “The angels, not half so happy in heaven”, were sad about him and her not being “together” anymore (“Annabel Lee” 21).

Through the use of mood, Poe reveals the dark side of his characters and the theme of uncertainty of truth. In sum, Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic way of writing helps explore the dark side of human experience with a touch of death, isolation, ghosts, nightmares, and creepy settings. His stories become more sinister when the main characters trouble with various forms of melancholy and insanity. In addition, most of his writings have a blurr between the real and imagination. Poe uses suspenseful style techniques to create fear, but interestor curiosity in the reader to know what will happen next.

“The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? (Poe 1844).