Edgar Allan Poe worked at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia. It was there that he finally found his life’s work as a writer. Poe is known for creating suspenseful, frightening stories that make the readers’ skin crawl. He keeps the readers in suspense through the use of first-person point of view, word choice, and repetition.
First-person point of view creates suspense in “The Tell-Tale Heart” for many reasons, one of them being that the story is experienced through the murderer’s eyes. When the killer is thinking about the old man’s wretched vulture eye, the reader knows exactly how he feels towards it, which is with disdain. The reader can also understand how insane the narrator is when he is talking about the old man. Having a strong point of view is crucial to a well-written story. When a story has a weak point of view that does not convey the message well, it is not as interesting to read. Edgar Allan Poe uses first-person point of view to create a bone- chilling and suspenseful story to keep the readers on the edges of their seats.
Repetition creates suspense in “The Tell-Tale Heart” because it gives you a clear image of how something was. For example, Poe repeats the word slowly very often in the story. The narrator repeats that word so that the reader can imagine how carefully he goes about his deeds. The murderer also repeats the word mad frequently as he is trying to tell the reader that he is not insane. Another example of repetition in “The Tell-Tale Heart” is repeating the word louder. By repeating this word, the narrator adds to the point of how loud of the old man’s heart beat was. Repetition in the story is important because it allows Poe to emphasize what he chooses to be significant. It tells the reader that the words being repeated are important to the outcome of the story.
The use of sound creates tension and suspense in “The Tell-Tale Heart” because it gives an idea of the surroundings and creates atmosphere. For example, Poe writes about hinges creaking. This phrase reminds the readers of old horror films and relates to old abandoned houses. It gets the readers more into suspense, as they believe something is going to happen. Another example of the use of sound in “The Tell-Tale Heart” is when the murderer chuckles at something. This shows that the killer is laughing in an evil way. He is also amused that the old man has no idea what is about to happen. Poe uses sound at the right moments when he is describing a freighting part of the story.