The Tell Tale Heart

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Post on 01-Jul-2015




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An introduction to Poe's short story with an emphasis on atmosphere and tension - hypertext links embedded for animated online version of the text too. useful for GCSE


  • 1. The Tell Tale HeartEdgar Allen Poe

2. Edgar Allen Poe 3. The Raven 4. quoth the raven nevermore 5. What irritates you about other people? 6. Have you ever felt yourselfdisliking a person for noapparent reason? 7. Is there any characteristic or trait about another person that might haunt you to the extent that youwould murder them? 8. What would the world look like through the eyes of a madman? 9. How does guilt manifest itself? 10. What are the different symbolic meanings of the heart? 11. As we read the short story, keep aneye out for the following: Narrative perspective The importance of the setting The ambiguity of the ending The atmosphere created 12. How did Poe create such a powerful atmosphere in such abrief piece of writing? 13. The EndingWhat do you think was responsible for the sound of the beating heart?Was the narrator being haunted by a supernatural presence or was he merely suffering from the same madness that drove him to kill the old man in the first place?Does it matter? 14. Task 1: Close textual analysis of aselected passage 15. The tools of tensionPlot events Narrative commentary Sentence length Use of punctuation Repetition Similes and metaphors Strong verb choices Adjectives Juxta-positioning & contrast 16. Language feature Effect IncreasinglySuggest the narrators fragmented sentence growing fear andstructuresdesperation The contrast between Emphasizes thethe agitation of the narrators insanity or narrator and the calmimplies a supernaturaloblivious reaction oforigin for the beating the Police Officersheart either of which raises the tension 17. Close textual analysis makes use ofdiscourse markers such as:This highlights / implies / suggests... This is reinforced by... Another method used is...An emphasis is placed upon...Likewise, similarly, in contrast,Moreover, furthermore 18. So how important is Poes language and style?After all, isnt it the plot thats the most important element of any story? 19. Task 2: Narrative Voice Write a paragraph in the style of the narrator describing the cell in which you now find yourselfThen write a paragraph in the style of one of the police officers, reporting your initial impressions of the man who committed the murderHow are your two pieces different in terms of style, sentence constructions and language choices?