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Transcript of Tell-Tale Heart
Greg Piscitelli Edgar Allan Poe is acknowledged as the inventor of the horror and detective story. Edgar Allan Poe was one of the first American writers to become a major figure in world literature. He is also considered America's first great literary critic and "architect" of the modern short story. Important Literary Elements Tone: The author's attitude toward the work, events, characters, or the reader/audience. Tone is gathered and understood from the kind of vocabulary used.
Some adjectives to describe tone: amused, angry, playful, gloomy, sad, paranoid, nervous, suspicious, humorous, formal, serious, cheerful, etc.
Theme: A central topic, subject, or concept the author is trying to point out. Foreshadowing: When the author suggests beforehand what is going to happen later in the story (gives us clues). In fiction, everything happens for a reason. If the reader of a novel witnesses an event that fizzles out before anything dramatic happens, they know that the drama will come later in the story.
A flashback is when a character looks back on something that has happened in the past. 1809-1849 Alliteration is when two or more words of a word group start with the same letter. An example of alliteration is "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."
Another example, can be found in Edgar Allan Poe's, "The Raven": "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door."
This is also an example of assonance, when the vowel sounds are the same throughout a strand of words (napping, tapping, rapping). Dramatic irony occurs in situations where the reader knows something about the character's present or future circumstances that the character does not know.
For example: In Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged sleep, he assumes her to be dead and kills himself. We as the readers know that she is still alive, but Romeo does not. Shakespeare's work contains many examples of dramatic irony. In fiction, an unreliable narrator is a narrator who can't be trusted. Either from ignorance or self-interest, this narrator speaks with a bias, makes mistakes, or even lies.
An unreliable narrator is one whose accounts of events can be distorted, faulty, and departs from the true understanding of events. A simile is the comparison between two things using "like" or "as." For example: "My love is like a red, red rose."
A metaphor is the comparison between two things not using "like"or "as." For example: "The world is a stage."
Personification is when you give human-like qualities to an animal, idea, or inanimate object. For example: "Because I could not stop for Death, he gladly stopped for me..." Most times, but not always, the inanimate object being personified is capitalized to create the effect, like giving it a name. Imagery is the use of vivid description, usually rich in sensory words, to create pictures, or images, in the reader's mind. For example: "The pot was as red as a tongue after eating a cherry flavored ring pop," "The giant tree was ablaze with the orange, red, and yellow leaves that were beginning to make their descent to the ground. "
Symbolism: attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships. A great example of symbolism in a novel is in "The Scarlet Letter." The red "A" Hester must wear on her dress is a symbol of her adultery and sin. "There came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton."
"So I opened it ... until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice..."
These quotes are examples of ____________. Simile
Poe is using a simile to compare the ray of light to a thread of a spider using the word "like." He is also comparing his heartbeat to a watch enveloped in cotton. This example, however, uses the word "as" to compare the two. "All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. "
"I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye."
The literary technique that best describes these words/quotes are called ____________. Personification
The narrator describes death as a person, rather than a thing. A clue that this is personification is that "Death" is capitalized, making it seem like a human name, just as the "Evil Eye" is. Another clue is that he gives death action: he stalks and envelops the victim. The narrator is looking back on his murderous act and the planning that he did, by telling us his story. This literary device is called _____________. Flashback
In movies and books, flashback is the term we use to describe the character reflecting on his past experiences. In this case, the narrator is telling his story of murder, to prove how he is "not" mad. The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
The repetition of letters in a group, as in these examples, is called ___________. Alliteration
The repeated uses of d, s, and h close together in these sentences are examples of alliteration. "He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it." Metaphor/Imagery
The narrator is comparing the old man's eye to the eye of a vulture without using "like" or "as," making this a metaphor. What does the heart/heartbeat symbolize? His heartbeat symbolizes fear and guilt. Throughout the story, the narrator hears a heartbeat and assumes it is the old man's. He also believes it beats so loud that it will wake up the neighbors. We know as the audience that he does not hear anyone's heartbeat but his own. In the end, his guilt and "tell-tale heart" led him to be caught. Guilt and the fact that the human heart cannot endure the burden of guilt, is also the theme of the story, along with death/murder and betrayal. How do we know the narrator is a crazy mad-man? We as the reader know that he is crazy because from the start he tells us how cunning, intelligent, and stealthy he was for committing murder, dismembering a body, and concealing it so well that he would never be caught. These actions and "excuses" alone tell us that he is crazy. This means that he is also an unreliable narrator, due to the fact that we cannot trust that what he says is sane. This also makes the story contain dramatic irony because we know something that the narrator does not, (that he is in fact crazy, unlike what he claims). The End! What is the tone (s) of this story? There can be more than one tone in a story that the author wants us to feel. In this story, the tone can be described as nervous, fearful, sad, stressful, crazed/psychotic, frantic, tense, paranoid, gloomy, guilty, morbid, disgust (of eye), shocking, etc. Give reasons and examples from the text.