Edgar Allan Poe

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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Edgar Allan Poe Would one expect Edgar Allan Poe, an alcoholic and college dropout, to become a renowned fiction writer? Poe's depressing past is expressed continuously in his writing. His use of human paranoia, suspense, and detail drew in his audience, and made him a talented fiction writer. These writing characteristics continue to attract new readers to his poems and short stories over one hundred years after they were first written.

Poe went into great detail in his poems and short stories. In Poe's story "The Black Cat" he goes into detail explaining the black cat, and the relationship between the cat and the narrator. In Poe's short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe uses detail to give the reader a clear mental picture of the house. The details Poe provides in his story add to the readers understanding of the setting, character relationships, and events occurring.

Poe used suspense many times in his poems and short stories. His use of suspense is shown in the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart", when the narrator waits every night for a week before he finally kills the old man. In Poe's story "The Pit and the Pendulum" suspense is built up when the narrator is trying to escape the pendulum, that is Evans 2 slowly swinging down toward his chest. Poe's use of suspense leads up to the climax of the story, and keeps the reader interested in the story.

Poe used human paranoia in many of his poems and stories. In "The Tell-Tale Heart" the narrator is so paranoid, he begins to think he can hear the old man's heart beating, when the police are talking to him, even though he knows the old man is dead. The paranoia becomes so great, he is convinced that the police can hear the old man's heart beating also. At that point the narrator finally gives into his paranoia and confesses. Poe's use of human paranoia makes his stories more intriguing and captures the reader's attention.

Poe lead a miserable and distressing life, but the events in his life guided him to write his chilling short stories and poems. He used his talent to attract and keep reader's attention. Poe used his talent to combine human paranoia, detail, and suspense to make his short stories and poems truly exceptional.

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