Syntax In The Tell Tale Heart

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Janey Bonnifield Mr. Bartram Language Arts Nov. 20, 2015 The Literature Behind “The Tell-Tale Heart” “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity”--Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe died on October 7, 1849, leaving behind a legacy of horribly satisfying tales of hatred and malice. Poe used his personal insanity as inspiration for the “madman” in his story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”. This story is built off of climax, and is extremely suspenseful, leaving you unsure of when the “madman” will strike. Poe also exhibits excellent syntax that helps the reader understand the unnatural actions of the “madman”. Poe’s writing is incredibly detailed, which helps build character and inner conflict. Poe’s success as a master…show more content…
He crafts his sentences to enthrall his readers into the tale, making it impossible for them to escape the no matter how unsettling the subject matter. A great example of this is, “TRUE—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous…” (1). Throughout the tale, Poe adds dashes into his sentences to create pauses, that show the detail that the “madman”has gone into for this murder. These dashes are able to hook the reader into the subject. Another example of this is “I moved it slowly—very, very slowly…” (1). In this quote, the Poe is trying to establish a feeling that the “madman” is making his every move precious. These images generated by Poe’s syntax add to the horrifying nature of the…show more content…
This mental issue is illustrated in this quote. “And I did this for seven long nights—every night just at midnight—but I found that the eye was always closed, and so it was impossible to do the work: for it was not the old man that vexed me, but his Evil Eye” (1). This quote shows the reader that the “madman” has an inner conflict, which is his perceived imperfection in the old man's eye. He needs everything to be exactly perfect, and that’s why he did the same thing every night for seven nights. Once he began to go through with his crime, he cannot commit. He stresses out; he worries that the old man might see him. Later when he commits his crime, he is afraid that the policemen can hear the old man's heart. “And still the men chatted pleasantly and smiled, is it possible they heard not?” (3) shows the madman's paranoia. The “madman” is so determined to have everything perfect, leaving no sign of any crime, and yet he stresses and gets paranoid. “The Tell-Tale Heart”, overall, is an eerie, gory tale, especially with the help of climatic suspense, in the story. Poe helps construct a new appreciation for reading unnerving tales with the “madman’s” erratic inner conflict that is extremely surreal. With the usage of syntax in the story, Poe allows his readers to connect to the tale and make it more realistic. Poe makes his stories remarkably horrifying by using
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