“The Raven” “The Cask Of Amontillado” And “The Tell Tale Heart” Analysis Free Writing Sample

Edgar Allan Poe was a writer, known for writing gothic literature. Though his writing at the modern time may not be as horrifying, we can assume his writing back in the day was quite terrifying. Going over some of his most popular tales known as “The Raven,” “The Cask Of Amontillado,” and “The Tell Tale Heart,” will all cover signs of gothic literature. “The Raven,” probably landing at the most popular piece from Edgar Allan Poe is a tale of a man that had lost his love, and now a raven has came to haunt him. The raven seemed to only know one word, “Nevermore,” in which already sets a gothic mood.

In “The Raven” the man cannot stand the bird only saying that one word, in fact the world scared him, making him think that the girl he’d love to see once more, he would see her “Nevermore.” Yet “The Raven wasn’t the only piece of literature with a creepy mood such as that, there was another story, “The Cask Of Amontillado.” A story of a man by the name of Montresor, insulted by a man named Fortunato, making Montresor on a hunt for revenge. Montresor in this story wanted to kill his “pal” Fortunato for the insult, and that he did with great planning. Giving the man Fortunato loads of wine as they went, possibly thought he was gonna kill him that way too.

Montresor was smart with his scheme, leading him deep into the depths of the vaults, leading him to a wine known as Amontillado. With the huge barrel of wine in Fortunato’s sight, yet Fortunato could not move, Montresor had chained him to a wall, so he could slowly die of suffocation as Montresor built a wall around him. The grim coughs of Fortunato when suffocating in the wall, considerably the most gothic piece of the story. Yet one more tale can be explained, “The Tell Tale Heart.” This story is about a man who hated the eye of an old man, making him furious, and gave him psychopathic thoughts of killing him. In the very beginning we are told by the man that he thinks he is not crazy, that he is a calm and collected person that had good reasoning to kill. The man spends eight nights, stalking the old man in his sleep, planning on how to kill him eventually.

Then is when he struck, on the eighth night he put a light over the old man’s eye, and suffocated him under a mattress. Adding a greater scale of gothic literature, the man cut up the limbs of the old man, and made sure all the blood had been cleaned off of the floor. The cops had came over, but the man had hid the body so well they started to believe he did nothing wrong. The man’s heart was filled with anxiety and nervous tension, he could no longer stand the worrisome feeling of his heart beating loud. He revealed the dead body under the boards, and gave in to his worry. These three pieces of gothic literature written by Edgar Allan Poe that have inspired many generations of people to write horror, and even more gothic tales.

Gothic Literature Of Edgar Allan Poe

A decaying setting, Supernatural beings, and death. These are a few of the common characteristics when met with the word gothic. The idea of Gothic Literature arose from the Middle Ages, inspiring writers to be free of the demonic style of imagination. Gothic Literature is characterized by the elements of insanity, death, and horror that are used in order to convey a point to the reader and add suspense. Throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s works of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Raven,” repetition is utilized to further enhance the storytelling and add to the insanity, along with suspense.

The repetition of words and imagery in “The Tell Tale Heart,” by Edgar Allan Poe intensify the great suspense and evoke a terrifying mood. Right of the bat in the beginning of the story, Poe has the narrator state “True!–nervous–very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will you say that I’m mad?” (Poe 1). The simple yet powerful choice in repetition allows the reader to feel and understand the fear and anxiety that is building up. The narrator’s choice of repetition of words not only adds to the suspense, but keeps the reader pondering upon why the narrator is so nervous to begin with. Poe utilizes the repetition of sound a numerous amount of times to describe the beating of the old man’s heartbeat. “The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment!”(Poe 2). The repetitive depiction of the Old man’s heart provides a dramatic essence of the murder while building up the acute suspense. Repetition of imagery is also brought upon through the narrator’s tellings. On the night he killed the man, the narrator states “there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton,” (Poe 2). He believes this sound is the man’s heart and refers to a watch as a representation of time. Later in the story, he uses nearly the same language to describe what he believes to still be the old man’s heart. “It was a low, dull, quick sound- much such a sound a watch makes when enveloped in cotton,”(Poe 3). The symbolism of the watches represent the time leading up to the man’s death and how it was running out. The repetition of imagery and symbolism shows the readers the narrator’s fear of death and how it leads to the insanity that drives him crazy enough to kill an old man.

Edgar Allan Poe wrote numerous amounts of Gothic Literature, all following a pattern of repetition to enhance the story and give a demonic message. In “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, the main character, Roderick Usher had a terrifying fear of something exterior that caused him harm. He describes the setting stating “I looked upon the scene before me — upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain — upon the bleak walls — upon the vacant eye-like windows — upon a few rank sedges — and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees — with an utter depression of soul,”(Poe 551). The use of “upon” further illustrates the gothic setting, while giving the windows human traits. Later on in the story, he describes the vacant eye like windows again, “I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down–but with a shudder even more thrilling than before–upon the remodelled and inverted images of the grey sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows,”(Poe 551). The repetition of the setting- specifically the eye-like windows- makes the readers view the windows as a figurative comparison since the house belongs to Usher. The repetition of the “vacant” and “eye-like” windows further illustrate the houses relation to Usher and has a powerful effect on the reader. Poe tends to repeat the word “upon” many times, particularly when he is in a state of fear. “Not hear it? — yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long — long — long — many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it —,”(Poe 562). The repetitive use of sound and time stresses the idea of multiple instances that have occurred, leading to a build-up of suspense.

In “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe uses repetition of words to create a deep tone for the poem. The intention of the poem is set around a man who is grieving for the loss of his love Lenore. He has a mindset of despair, only to have a Raven come and talk to him. In the First stanza the man states, “While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door-,”(Poe 1). The depiction of the sounds further represents the grief that emerges in the narrator’s mind. It is a ceaseless and unrelenting sound that never leaves the narrator throughout the story and eventually rubs off on the readers. He then states “From my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the lost Lenore,”(Poe 1) The repetitive statement of sorrow represents the endless pain he is feeling. Losing his love has shattered him and draws out emotion to the reader. Upon the Raven’s arrival, it constantly repeats the word “Nevermore” after each sentence. The repetition echos sadness and only adds to the despair the narrator is experiencing. It reiterates the grief and fatalistic hopelessness that gradually forms the emotional tone for the story.

Within the works of free-spirited writer Edgar Allan Poe, there is a common element of repetition creating suspense for the reader. The repetition puts emphasis on the insanity adding to the suspense while creating a sense of emotion.

The Harlem Renaissance Essay

After WW1 African Americans migrated to the north to find work in factories. This concentration of blacks led to a boom in culture, that produced many positives contributions to the arts and politics. African Americans spoke up for themselves against crimes and for authentic art that “must embrace the whole African American and not merely mimic white standards, styles, and expectations” says jJanehHallauthor of “the Harlem renaissance a cultural rebirth”. This time was when writers, painters, music and other forms of expression were set free and multiplied. many works of art were created in this short amount of time.

The Harlem Renaissance was the revival of various types of art and involved many peoples. Thinking about black culture the first thing that comes to mind is the sound of music. Music that tells a story and cannot always be recreated; mostly blues, jazz, and swing to name a few. These types of music were central to the Harlem renaissance soundscape. Ruth A Banes writer of ‘Relentlessly writing the weary song: Blues legacies in literature’ says that “Blues and jazz continue to express ‘the souls of black folk’ as the African-American community confronts deliberate exclusion and insists upon liberation, rejecting and transcending racism.” Music is a form of expression that can be understood across the board. Bane supports this by saying, “The music not only demands to be heard; it has gained the attention of blacks and whites alike, not only in the United States, but across the world.” Some well know musicians that came out of Harlem are Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Louis Armstrong was most known for his trumpet playing and later in life for his singing, but his life wasn’t always about fame. He was born around august 1901. His father left while he was little and his mother worked as a domestic and sometimes as a prostitute to support the family. Without his mother around Armstrong also worked to support the family.

Armstrong grew up in a poor New Orleans neighborhood and was surrounded by music. He quickly took liking to jazz but could not pursue his interest due to lack of money. Armstrong continued to work and bought his first cornet with the money he saved. He taught himself how to play and performed a few times until he was arrested for shooting a gun and was sent to reformed school. Armstrong flourished as a musician during this time and when he was released decided to follow his interest in having a career in music. He continued to work and perform and eventually caught the attention of New Orleans best cornet player. This attention led to Armstrong’s mentorship with Joseph “king” Oliver. Over the course of Armstrong’s life, he married many women and travelled frequently. In 1932 his fame hit a wall with the ending of the Harlem renaissance, his music had fallen out of style and was considered a ccliche. Out of character for Armstrong but Frustrated with united states race relations he criticized the government for not handling the integration of schools better. Armstrong died of complications of a heart attack but is still well known for his musical career and contribution to the Harlem renaissance.

Another well known singer was Billie Holiday or “Lady Day”. She was born in 1915 not too long before the full swing of the Harlem renaissance. Like louis Armstrong she grew up poor without a father but unlike her male counterpart she found drugs along with fame and continued to struggle addiction her whole life. Even though she was extremely talented, her life off the stage is what most people focused on. Her missing father was Clarence Holiday, a musician that she idolized and the main reason behind her singing career. Holiday suffered a lot of abuse as a child. At twelve she worked at a brothel as a prostitute and a singer for tips. She styled her singing after louis Armstrong and Bessie smith. At thirteen she moved to New York and started singing in Harlem clubs where a music producer in 1933 heard her and signed her with Columbia records. Holiday lived her life “cursing, drinking, brawling, pursuing partners of both sexes, a victimizer almost as often as she was a victim,” says Geoffrey Ward author of “Billie Holiday.” In 1940 she also began shooting heroin which cut her singing career short.

Holiday had many fans, but most were more interested in her life than her ability to sing. After her death age forty, her friends and associates perpetuated the idea that her singing was only an accident, caused by the pain she experienced, instead of the musical talent that she held.

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