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Horror and Terror in Poe

  • Date Submitted: 02/07/2013 08:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.4 
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Adgar Allan Poe's devices for heightening the effect of horror and terror in short stories

  A.A.Poe is called a real master of horror stories. It is suggested that reading his works is an experience that anyone would be poorer without, for the author has constructed a universe to which there is nothing comparable in any literature. He developed the devices for producing the effect of terror established long before him by exhilarating the thrill and proved that our life is a complete mystery. The earliest work written by Poe, "M.S. Found in a Bottle" won an award in 1883 and made the author sure that such garner is superior for expressing his ideas and exploring human psyche as he was particularly interested in it. The story still remains one of the best examples of its kind and presents quite fully all the devices used by Poe that make us tremble with fear.
  First of all I should say that the subject itself is extremely mysterious as the author wrote from the standpoint of psychology dealing with abnormal states of mind. At the same time he offered us the story and its frightening mystery as a real event. Putting a person in the center of the narration he gained an opportunity to study the way of person's thinking and let the reader experience his emotions. Poe makes the narrator the central figure of the plot. Actually the story is written in the form of a diary, it is a confession of the narrator's sole and this is why we tend to believe it. The reader stands very close to the narrator penetrating into his mind, observing his thoughts and becoming aware of the most private feelings. We even get some background information about the main character knowing that "hereditary wealth" afforded him "an education of no common order", that he was a philosopher (was blamed for "deficiency of imagination" and German moralists gave him "great delight") and had "a habit of referring occurrences, even the less susceptible of such reference, to the principles of that...


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