Horrific. Suspenseful. Mysterious. These are all characteristics of Edgar Allen Poe’s writing. Poe made many stories that all related to his life in some way. They are all eerie and attention grabbing. Three style elements that Poe uses in his writing are mood, foreshadowing, and symbolism. These are things that make Poe a unique writer.
One way that Poe’s writing unique is the fact that the moods of his stories are dark and mysterious. For example, in one of his stories “The Raven,” he writes, “That I scarce was sure I heard you – here I opened wide the door; Darkness there and nothing more.” When the narrator opens the door, he realizes that nothing is there. He is standing, looking into darkness, which makes the story more suspenseful, affecting the mood. Another example is in his story “The Masque of the Red Death,” he writes, ‘And thus too, it happened, perhaps, that before the last echoes of the last chime had utterly sunk into silence, there were many individuals in the crowd who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure who had arrested the attention of no single individual before.” The ebony clock has a meaning to this story and it affects the mood because when it strikes midnight, there is a “person” that appears. Poe describes how the person looks, and it seems as if he or she is dressed up as the disease they are trying to get away from. Also, in Poe’s story “The Cask of Amontillado,” he writes,” At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled – but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk.” This is stating that Montresor, one of the main characters is planning to kill another main character, Fortunato. This creates suspense, which makes the reader connect and want to read more, and the suspense creates the mood. Altogether, in all Poe’s stories, the mood is created through suspense and suspenseful actions.
The foreshadowing that Poe uses makes his writing unique too, which creates tension and makes the reader more interested. In his story “The Masque of the Red Death,” he writes, “The resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress.” This quote means that there is no way to enter or exit the disease, which is the red death, some just gets it and dies quickly. So, since this is stated, the reader can infer that everyone is going to die which makes the reader want to read more. Also, in the same passage he writes, “Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang: and when the minute-hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken…” In this passage, the ebony clock symbolizes the time that the people have left to live. Knowing that, every time the clock strikes, there is a shorter time left to live and it foreshadows the death of everyone. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” he writes, “Enough. He said; the cough’s a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough. True — true. I replied.” Montresor is planning on getting revenge on Fortunato, so he agrees with what Fortunato said. So, it foreshadows that there is going to be a different way of how Fortunato dies. All the foreshadowing in Poe’s writing makes a connection with the reader and makes them want to read more because they can assume what is going to happen from the start.
The symbolism that Poe uses makes his writing unique and allows the reader to connect to their personal lives. In “The Raven” Poe writes, “But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust spoke only that one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.” The raven symbolizes the narrator’s memory of Lenore, which was a loved one that he or she lost in the past. This allows the reader to connect with an event that had happened to them, and they can get a clearer picture of the story. In the same passage, he also writes “While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of some are gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.” The raven symbolizes Lenore, someone who he loved, but had passed. Knowing that, it allows the reader to understand the concept of what is happening and makes the story more interesting to them because they can relate. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” it states, “He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells.” In this story, Fortunato was dressed up from the carnival he was attending, and it symbolizes that he is a fool. This is because he was dressed up like a fool and he was a fool because he fell for a trap into death, which lets the reader understand because they can visualize what is happening. Therefore, symbolism allows the reader to connect in past or current even happening in their own lives.
Poe is an amazing author. He uses the style elements of mood, foreshadowing, and symbolism, which makes his writing unique. All these style elements allow the reader to understand the concept of what is happening. It allows them to visualize and get a better mental picture. These story elements used in Poe’s writing, allowed him to become a successful and unique writer.