Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe; the Striker of Terror
Edgar Allen Poe, the writer of many horror and terror stories, had many techniques that he used to scare people and show them how some fears are of nothing at all. Such works as ???The Raven???, or ???The Pit and the Pendulum??? exhibit many clauses of Poe??™s style of writing. Poe uses horror and terror to strike fear into hearts of readers. The unreliability of the narrator keeps one mystified throughout the story, making the reader beg to be released of Poe??™s writing spell that he casts on the paper that is the story. Finally, Poe uses the idea of the mind to torment us and show how it reacts when it is under stress.
Poe uses horror and terror to strike fear into the heart of the reader. Throughout ???The Raven???, the raven repeats the word ???nevermore???. This is a form of psychological torture that makes the man in the story realize his wife is truly gone from this world and is ???nevermore???. ?????¦suddenly there came a tapping/As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door/
Tis some visitor, I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door/Only this, and nothing more??? (Chin et. Al. page 287 line 6). Yet another example of the eeriness of Poe??™s writing is exhibited here in the beginning of ???The Raven.??? Poe uses horror and terror not only in ???The Raven???, but in many other works as well, such as ???The Pit and the Pendulum???. In this poem, Poe uses the single effect method to create fear in the poem. Each element he uses; Imagery, sensory details, and suspense, add to the single emotion he is trying to create, which is absolute terror of being in the nothingness. ???I was sick, sick unto death, with that long agony, and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me??? (Chin et. Al. page 292 line 1). This method makes the reader aware of what the man is feeling, therefore making the reader experience (without them knowing) the man??™s torture.
The unreliability of the narrator keeps one mystified throughout the story, making the reader beg to be released of Poe??™s writing spell that he casts on the paper that is the story. In ???The Raven???, the beginning lines of the poem set up the reader to doubt or disbelieve him. ???Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary/ Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore??? (Chin et. Al. page 287 lines 1-2). Poe uses this to make the reader doubt and ask questions. Did Poe himself create a fictional raven to help cope with his loss Was there an actual raven that talked to him Did Poe just dream, and wake up The reader suddenly finds the narrator unreliable, and starts making false assumptions in the reader??™s head. This is also shown in ???The Pit and the Pendulum???. ???I had swooned; but still will not say that all of consciousness was lost. What of it there remained I will not attempt to define, or even to describe; yet all was not lost. In the deepest slumber — no! In delirium — no! In a swoon — no! In death ??“ no!??? (Chin et. Al. page 293, first paragraph). The man was struck, and was in a state of mind that was neither conscious or unconscious. This immediately makes one think of the possibilities of what is actually happening in the story, and what is perceived by this stumbling man that has no idea what state of mind he is in.
Finally, Poe uses the idea of the mind to torment us and show how it reacts when it is under stress. During ???The Raven???, Poe becomes exponentially upset with the raven, until he snaps and is overcome with the grief he feels. A reader feels the pain that he feels, his impatience with the bird, and finally his realization of death as an absolute truth. ?????™Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend! I shrieked upstarting / `Get thee back into the tempest and the Nights Plutonian shore!/ Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! / … And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor/ Shall be lifted – nevermore! (Chin et. Al. page 290, stanzas 17 and 18). During ???The Pit and the Pendulum???, one feels the stress the man feels as his life is held by hard, cold, swinging pendulum of death, slowly inching its way towards his imminent doom.??? Down — steadily down it crept. I took a frenzied pleasure in contrasting its downward with its lateral velocity. To the right — to the left — far and wide — with the shriek of a damned spirit! to my heart with the stealthy pace of the tiger! I alternately laughed and howled, as the one or the other idea grew predominant ???(Chin et. Al. page 297).
All in all, Poe uses horror and terror to strike fear into hearts of readers. The unreliability of the narrator keeps one mystified throughout the story, making the reader beg to be released of Poe??™s writing spell that he casts on the paper that is the story. Also, Poe uses the idea of the mind to torment us and show how it reacts when it is under stress. When Poe combines these elements into a poem or short story, he creates a masterpiece of literature that will come back to haunt each and every reader at the most inopportune time.