Gothic elements are used often in literature to sustain an almost horror-like feel to the plot of a story. These elements were first recorded in The Castle of Otranto, published in 1754, and assisted in the creation of many great works of literature to come. In the short gothic work The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe, the author employs an abundance of gothic elements to help maintain his desired tone of the story. Examples of these elements include an atmosphere of mystery and suspense, high emotion displayed by a character, and the metonymy of gloom and horror.
The text directly states, “I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued to gain definiteness–until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears…It was a low, dull, quick sound– much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton.” In this quote, the author is leaving the reader to come to a conclusion that the main character is mad. Poe lets his audience know in advance that the main character dismembered the body of the old man which would leave him undoubtedly dead. This quote exemplifies the gothic element “an atmosphere of mystery and suspense” because the source of the sound is unknown to the reader unless the noise is a figment of the narrators imagination. This fact leaves the source of the sound a mystery and the reader in suspense.
“Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or grief– oh, no! –it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe.” This example explains the sound the blind man lets out as he
is overcome with terror. The author chose to show the old mans fear of the unseen to add to the previously established gothic genre of the plot.
“And this I did for seven long nights –every night just at midnight– but I found the always closed; and so it as impossible to do the work; for it was not the…