Gut wrenching tension? Painstaking anxiety? Haunting nervousness? All of these ingredients blend into the perfect nail biting, edge of your seat story. One may ask why, or even how could all of these feelings erupt from a bunch of words arranged on a page. A suspenseful situation can emerge from a mere description of where or when a narrative is occurring. The setting of â€œThe Tell Tale Heartâ€, by Edgar Allan Poe, is the very component which causes the entire piece to make its reader restless and dying to see how it ends.
Whether it is a creepy dim light leaking into a dark silent room, or a shadowy figure lurking in the shadows, creating a visual for the readers is crucial in an effective scary story. To emphasize the terror Poe illustrates, â€œThe room was black as pitch with the thick darknessâ€ (Poe 118). Consequently this makes his audience squeamish and fearful, for no one enjoys the mystery of a dark room. Poe provides another visual for his readers when the narrator specifically describes, â€œ. . . a single dim ray, like the thread of a spider, shot from out the crevice and full upon the vulture eyeâ€ (Poe 119). This gives the audience Goosebumps and a stomach-turning appalled feeling because of the infinite number of visuals ones mind could create. These vivid mental pictures as well as the echo Poe describes as, â€œ. . . the dreadful silence of that old houseâ€ (Poe 119), give the readers of an overwhelming experience all brought about by an eerie and mysterious setting.
Edgar Allan Poe also uses utter domestic normalcy to instill fear in his readers. He veers away from the classic haunted houses and abandoned castles and steers his audience in the direction of their very own urban towns. The fear that he develops in his readersâ€™ minds isnâ€™t because of the eeriness of the setting but the regularity of it. The nameless and mysterious narrator explains, â€œI love