The Black Cat- Suspense, Irony, Symbolism

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Edgar Allen Poe
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words-so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Edgar Allan Poe is one of the many few that has a very effective style of writing. By using various effects in his short stories, he draws his audience in and grabs their attention from the very beginning. Due to his unique system of writing, Poe has a way of controlling the majority of his readers’ feelings, or emotions. He has mastered the art of writing by disciplining himself to use specific words and styles in which he can affect his readers in any way he chooses to make them think or feel. Poe uses suspense, irony, and symbolism to seize his readers’ attention in almost every single one of his stories. Poe effectively uses these expressions to cause each of his readers to experience a certain emotion or feeling while reading his stories.

In Poe’s story “The Black Cat”, right off the bat he begins intriguing his reader with suspense. He writes a first person account of how he has done something bad. As he starts to explain what he has done, he continuously interrupts himself to remind the reader that he was not in his right mind and he came up with excuses as to what it is he had done. Then, he goes on to write, “Yet, mad am I not - and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul.” (Poe 11) This is his way of explaining that the narrator would be dead by the next day. This causes the reader to experience even more suspense and anxiousness by wondering what will happen to him. Poe takes his time explaining this story, which automatically makes the reader accept the suspense of their own curiosity as to what the outcome will be.

Irony is another immense effect of Poe’s writing style. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, he uses irony to describe his characters’ names, dressing styles, and even the setting...
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