Usa History

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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Short Story Essay 1. The author of my five short stories is Edgar Allan Poe.

2. The titles of my five short stories are The Black Cat, The Gold Bug, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Tell-Tale Heart 3. The Black Cat 1. The Narrator- murderer of his wife and many pets 2. The Wife- married to narrator at young age and very pet loving The Gold Bug 1. William Legrand- well educated but having some financial problems 2. Narrator- physician who was very willing to help people 3. Jupiter- an ex-slave The Fall of the House of Usher 1. Narrator- boyhood and only personal friend of Roderick Usher 2. Roderick Usher- boyhood friend of narrator 3. Madeline- sister of Roderick Usher The Pit and the Pendulum 1. Narrator- person that is suffering from a hallucinatory condition The Tell-Tale Heart 1.

Narrator- murderer who's purpose is not confession but desire to prove his sanity 2. Old Man- father of murderer who had an evil eye 4. The Black Cat The narrator begins with the remote past of his own childhood. He said that he was a sensitive boy that was teased a lot by his school mates. Then the narrator jumps forward in time to where he married his wife. She brought some pets into their home including a pet cat named Pluto. The narrator formed a strong bond with Pluto. But as time passed the narrator became a very strong drinker and his personality had changed. One night after drinking he hung the cat from a tree outside of his house. That night the house burned in a fire. The outline of a gigantic cat with a noose around its neck appeared on the one wall that remained standing. The narrator found a new cat to replace Pluto. One day the narrator, wife, and the second cat went into the cellar of the old building were they now lived. The cat nearly made the narrator fall down the stairs. The narrator was mad at the cat and took an ax and tried to hit the cat. The wife prevented him from doing so. But then the narrator put the ax into the wife's head. Four days after the murder a party of police officers came to search the house. They found the wife and the second cat inside the wall.

The Gold Bug The story starts off when the main character William Legrand was being visited by the narrator. Legrand was happy about his discovery of a rare gold bug. The narrator had come to see the bug but Legrand did not have it at the time. So Legrand drew a picture of it and locked it away in his desk drawer. About a month later Legrand wanted the narrator to go on a treasure hunt with him. The narrator did so. By dropping the gold bug they found a buried treasure. The gold bug was more then required. Jupiter could have dropped any small object and had the same result. But Legrand was disturbed by the signs that the narrator doubted his sanity, and decided to punish him with a little bit of sober mystification.

The Fall of the House of Usher The story begins when the narrator a boyhood friend of Roderick Usher receives a letter from Roderick saying that he has an acute bodily illness. The narrator rides his horse immediately to the Usher House. He sees his friend and also sees his sister Madeline who has an illness that the doctors don't know how to cure it. When she walks by the two Roderick says that this would be the last time they would see her alive. During the next several days Roderick and the narrator painted together. One night Roderick had told the narrator that Madeline had died. Then on a stormy night the door swung open and there was Madeline with blood splattered all over her white dress. The narrator ran from the room and house. Then the house collapsed and the remaining fragments of the Usher House laid at the narrators feet.

The Pit and the Pendulum The story begins when the narrator wakes up and is afraid to open his eyes. He recalls the terrible deaths that the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition had given to their victims. He was afraid he was a victim. He was inside of a cell that was pitch black inside. He fell asleep again and when he woke up the cell was lighted. He was able to see that the cell walls were made of metal. He looked up at the cell ceiling and saw an image of father time. There was a pendulum swinging from it. The narrator focused on the pendulum and it began to descend towards him. The pendulum was now inches from his breast and he laid there tied in bandages. There had been left over food next to him and rats from the pit had been eating it. The narrator had taken the last piece of meat from the plate and placed it on his bandage. The rats ate through the bandages and he was free. Now the walls of the cell were being heated and the cell walls began to close forcing the narrator towards the pit. The walls were nearly touching the narrator and they began to move away from the narrator. An arm reached out and grab the narrator. The arm belonged to General Lasalle. The French army had liberated the Inquisition.

The Tell-Tale Heart The story starts off by the narrator telling that he has a mental disorder. He claims that the disorder has made his hearing more acute. The narrator starts talking about an old man. He wont say if the old man was related to him but they lived in the same house. The narrator admits that he killed the old man because he had an eye that was different from his other. He said that one night while the old man was sleeping he dragged him to the floor and pulled the bed over him. Whether the old man was crushed or smothered the narrator did not know. He just knew that the old man was dead. The narrator then took the body and cut it all up. He put the pieces into bedroom floor. On the next mourning a group of policemen came to the narrator's house. The narrator admitted to killing the old man and showed them where he put the body. When they pulled up the planks they found the old man's body and his heart still beating away.

5. There was some similarities in these stories. All five of the short stories had the point of view of first person. In all of the stories the narrator is a character and he tells the story.

6. I think that the theme of the story "The Black Cat" is that if you do something wrong you will eventually get caught and be forced to pay the price.

7. In the story "The Fall of the House of Usher" the atmosphere is explained. It says that it is a dull, dark, soundless day and the clouds were hanging low. In the story "The Tell-Tale Heart" foreshadowing is used. When the narrator and the officers hear the heart beating this would tell the officers where the body was and that the heart was still beating. In the story "The Pit and the Pendulum" the tone changes from beginning to end. At the beginning of the story it was going slow and by the end the story it was progressing fast.