What is the language technique used in "The Tell-Tale Heart?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Language technique are a category of literary device. When one is examining language technique, he or she is examining and identifying the use of literary techniques like metaphors, similes, personification and other such techniques. The second category of literary device is literary elements, like chronology, mood, tone and point of view.

Edgar Allan Poe's story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," contains many different language techniques. First, he uses discourse. Discourse is the way one communicates. IN this story, the narrator is the only one who communicates. While he poses questions to the readers/audience, answers are not able to be given. Essentially, the narrator is simply restating an event from the past for the reader.

Imagery is also used in the text. The description of the old man's eye is image-ridden. " He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold." Readers can see the filmed eye easily. Not only that, the words used can force the reader to feel the same coldness the narrator feels.

A simile is found in the following line: "a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider." A simile is a comparison between two things which would not normally be compared (the comparison uses the words "like" or "as"). Here, the light of the lantern is compared to the thread of a spider. Again, because a simile, the image readers are left with is exact.