How does Edgar Allan Poe convince readers that everyone has an interest in stories about death and dying?That is the prompt we have to write 800 words on that prompt and we have to join 4 stories...

How does Edgar Allan Poe convince readers that everyone has an interest in stories about death and dying?

That is the prompt we have to write 800 words on that prompt and we have to join 4 stories of his : "The Black Cat," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Tell-Tale Heart, "and "The Premature Burial."

Asked on by omarado

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Fear is an extremely strong emotion, and Edgar Allan Poe taps into this primal feeling in his horrifying stories "The Black Cat," "Premature Burial," and "The Masque of the Red Death."  In addition, Poe's masterful techniques and unusual plots involving such insane and unreliable narrators captivate readers.  In "The Black Cat," for instance, the narrator conveys a sarcasm throughout the story which indicates that he does not regret what he has done.  In "The Masque of the Red Death," the narrator appears to be a third-person observer, however, after the Prince is dead there is still narration, so the reader wonders if Death himself is telling this story. 

At any rate, there is always a mystery about Poe's stories which keep readers wondering how his stories will end.

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kmalone614 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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At some point in our lives, we all come to grips with our mortality. Poe only illuminates those thoughts, feelings and fears in each of us. He does this through his masterful creation of suspense, as well as the singular focus of all of his short stories.

If you consider "The Tell-Tale Heart," the first of these elements is used masterfully. There is arguably no other story in which Poe so fully encompasses his readers in the tension and suspense, as readers can practically hear the beating beneath the floorboards for themselves.

In "The Masque of the Red Death," Poe takes the other element, the singular focus, and crafts an entire story around the idea of excess and selfishness.

teachertaylor's profile pic

teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In his short stories, Edgar Allan Poe manages to convince the reading public that individual readers are interested in stories that have to do with death and dying largely because he develops and incredible amount of suspense in his stories.  For example, in "The Tell-Tale Heart," the reader soon realizes that the narrator is mad and anticipates what his madness will cause him to do.  Further, sympathy for the old man is developed through the portrayal of his innocence and ignorance of the crazed thoughts of the narrator.  The reader gets caught up in the narrator's hatred of the old man's eye and his fear that the police will realize that he has buried the old man under the floor.  This element of a strange burial is also present in "The Black Cat" and "The Premature Burial," and although it is not the case "In the Masque of the Red Death," the moment of the Prince's death in the middle of the room is similar.  So, the element of suspense and an inevitable death make readers interested in Poe's stories.

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