Which Statement Best Describes How Poe Creates Mood in the Excerpt?


Edgar Allan Poe, known for his mastery of Gothic and macabre tales, was a literary genius when it came to manipulating mood in his writings. His ability to craft an eerie and unsettling atmosphere is exemplified in many of his works, and understanding how he accomplishes this is key to appreciating his artistry. In this article, we will explore how Poe creates mood in his excerpts, focusing on the statement that best encapsulates his technique.

Setting the Stage: Edgar Allan Poe’s Excerpt

Before delving into the specific statement that best describes how Poe creates mood, let’s consider a brief excerpt from one of his most famous works, “The Tell-Tale Heart”:

“True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease has only sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them.”

Poe’s Mood-Creation Technique

Literature professor Charles Schulz says Edgar Allan Poe’s exceptional skill in creating mood is achieved through various literary devices, including word choice, tone, and pacing. Here are some elements commonly found in Poe’s work that contribute to his mood creation

  1. Word Choice and Diction: Poe selects words that evoke unease and suspense. In the excerpt above, words like “nervous,” “dreadfully,” and “mad” immediately set a tense tone, drawing the reader into the narrator’s troubled state of mind.
  2. Repetition: Poe often repeats specific words or phrases for emphasis, heightening the reader’s sense of unease. In this excerpt, the repetition of “not destroyed, not dulled” reinforces the narrator’s obsession and paranoia.
  3. First-Person Narration: By employing a first-person perspective, Poe allows readers to delve deep into the psyche of the narrator, intensifying the emotional connection and the sense of impending dread.
  4. Pacing: Poe expertly controls the pacing of his narratives, gradually building tension. In this excerpt, the narrator’s stream-of-consciousness style of speaking mirrors his increasing anxiety.

The Statement that Best Describes How Poe Creates Mood

Among the statements that could describe how Poe creates mood in his excerpt, the following statement encapsulates his technique most effectively:

“Poe skillfully uses a combination of vivid language, repetition, and first-person narration to immerse the reader in the narrator’s deteriorating mental state, evoking a sense of unease and impending madness.”

This statement highlights key elements of Poe’s technique: his choice of vivid language, his use of repetition for emphasis, his preference for first-person narration to create an intimate connection with the narrator’s psyche, and his ability to convey a palpable sense of unease and foreboding.


Edgar Allan Poe’s talent for crafting mood is a hallmark of his literary genius. In this excerpt from “The Tell-Tale Heart,” as in many of his works, he transports readers into a world of psychological turmoil and suspense. Through his meticulous choice of words, use of repetition, and first-person narrative style, Poe draws readers into the dark recesses of the human mind, creating an atmosphere of tension and dread that continues to captivate and disturb readers to this day.