A Mood of a Story
Writers use many techniques to make their writing sing. A master of this was Edgar Allan Poe. In the short story, The Tell-Tale Heart his words write to the readers senses to urge up a mood of suspense and fear. In contrast, his last work, a poem called Annabel Lee he paints a picture of his almost bizarre attachment to a beloved woman whose loss he suffered. Although both of these have a common element of insanity, which helps create the mood, the short stories are better at portraying it than in his poetry.
In the poem Annabel Lee the major theme is a twisted kind of love between one another. The mood changes drastically from the beginning to the ending of the poem. The narrator tells how his and Annabel Lees love for each other was sturdy enough for each other since childhood. Even after her death he maintained his strong affection towards her.
But we loved with a love that was move than love/ I and my \
Annabel Lee/ With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven/ Coveted her and me. (Poe, page 164 lines 9-12)
Towards the end of the poem it goes into a drastic change such as becoming a very dark, gloomy, severe transformation towards the readers point of view. In the poem, the narrator points out how Annabel Lee was killed for no reason, their love was too strong to be defeated by the angels of demons. The narrator believes that the angels had caused her death. Their love is so strong for one another that their it reaches out beyond her grave as their souls meet up with each other once again.
And neither the angels in Heaven above/ Nor the demons down under the sea/ Can ever dissever my soul from the soul/ Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. (Poe, page 164 lines 30-33)
This explains how he feels concerning the whole world that appears to be going against him, and taking his one and only true love. He finally realizes no one can tear their love apart because their souls are meant for each other. The mood changes drastically from loving one another and ending their love halfway in the poem which causes the reader to think differently on what it actual means, making the poems mood not as descriptive or meaningless. In this poem I feel that the narrator is trying to set a kind of mood and doesnt follow through with it which confuses the readers. The readers do not feel as strong of a mood in his poems as in his short stories.
My opinion was more leading towards how Poes short stories display more of a mood than his poetry. The other main cause towards the mood that makes it less strong was the point of view from which it was told. Many poems and short stories have different points of view, and I feel that is what makes the story interesting. Every narrator has their own opinions and shows to the readers, as for the reader they come up with their own opinion and get to compare it with the narrators. The Annabel Lee poem was told from the narrators point of view which made the readers change their mindset of the story making it less forceful with its expressions. The feelings of the narrator are not as consistent because he switches from saying how they love each other forever, and then continues to talk about how the angels took his wife. This change in his feelings causes the reader to alter their emotions towards the story making the mood less strong.
In the short story, The Tell-Tale Heart the mood is continuously kept the same and told by the narrator. It shows a lot of mystery, dark, sanity, and gothic in his story. The story goes on by the unnamed narrator insists on killing a poor innocent old man with a vulture eye as he asserts that he insists he is crazy but is suffering from a disease, which causes him to do some negative things. The old mans eye represents some kind of secret or power. The story continues to go on telling how he kills the old man and hides the body by dismounting it and hiding it under the floorboards. The narrator also explains how after the murder the cops had not planned on coming over but had knocked on the mans door to see what was going on. The narrator was
confident that they would not hear or find any evidence of his murder, until there appeared to be a noise that grew louder and louder as time passed by. The narrator then confesses to the killing and tells the cops where to reveal the dead body. There was a collapse toward all of this that followed in the short story. It had happened when the narrator begins to hear the beating of the old mans heart which made him acknowledge the tragedy of the dead mans murder. The mood in this short story remains the same throughout it because it dealt with tragedy, horror, and terror from beginning to end. It also kept the reader in line with what the narrator was expressing, and kept them on their feet about what was going to happen next. That is what makes it more successful than in his poetry.
The narrator in Poes story also shows mood by explaining himself in great detail which many dont. It therefore uses examples of terror but more the memory of terror relating them from his past experiences. The first few sentences in his story show guilt, True! ----Nervous----very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses----not destroyed----not dulled them (Poe, page 307 lines 1-3). These few lines to his short story grab the readers attention and want to read on to what is going to happen in the story. From there on out of the story all of his details lead out to moving the story forward in a well mannered sequence. It also makes the reader read more into it to know how the story is actually slightly creepy and a horror kind of story, it gets there attention more to find out
what is going to happen next. The narrator is just trying to prove that he is not crazy so you know the mood is going to be suspenseful and he doesnt change that.
Compared to Poes poems and his short stories the story Tell-Tale Heart is from the narrators own point of view which makes a better understanding to it. The narrator in the Tell- Tale Heart is the murderer and his mood in that makes it even stronger telling it from his point of view. The narrator views his sensitivity as of proof of his own clear mind that he actually wasnt full of anger. He comes off as saying he is a very angry mean person but he actually defends his actions on how calmly he actually can be by telling it in two different parts. The narrator seems to be a nice guy but at the same time a very crazy guy to by saying how he understands how frightened the old man has to be, but having also experienced the lonely terrors of the night. The narrators feelings in the story are not one of hate towards the man but only towards his eye and how he knew he had to get rid of it so the mood is like horror by then.
By reading Edgar Allan Poes short stories and poems you can tell that there is more mood set in his short stories compared to his poems. Mentioned earlier, he tells the story through the narrators point of view and keeps it in a sequence of order and same mood throughout it. Every reader can tell if the mood is set strongly or not. The narrator can always point out his main ideas or thoughts but that doesnt mean it will always end up happening in the story. By keeping the mood the same in his stories it comes across stronger than in his poetry and the reader can sense that.