Suspense in The Birds and The Tell-Tale Heart

October 3, 2017
By Tmoney030303 BRONZE, Wayland, Michigan
Tmoney030303 BRONZE, Wayland, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's okay to be a glow stick. Sometimes you have to break before you can shine." -Unknown

Included in both the story the Tell-Tale Heart and the movie The Birds, you will find scenes which create suspense. One way of introducing suspense that you would see in both stories is sound. The squawk of a bird or the pounding of a heart. It helps you feel like part of the story. Almost like you’re right there with the characters. There are multiple ways to create suspense in a story. Such as Dramatic Irony, Innocent Characters, or sound. These are definitely not the only way but they’re very common in the Tell-Tale Heart and The Birds.

Dramatic irony is when the audience is aware of something that's about to happen but the characters in the story aren’t. Hitchcock very cleverly used dramatic irony in the scene where Melanie walked up the dark steps to the attic. You could hear the sounds that the birds were making at the top of the stairs. It was obvious to the people watching the movie that there were going to be birds in the attic, but Melanie didn’t realize this and continued to amble on up the stairs. This helps the audience feel as if they’re in charge of what’s happening in a way. They know what’s going to happen but the person in the movie doesn’t. This really draws people in but also creates suspense because even though you know it’s coming, you still aren’t completely aware of how it’s going to play out.

Often found in most stories are innocent characters. They’re people in the story that obviously are not guilty of the charge but are still being blamed. As shown in the Tell-Tale Heart, the old man is murdered even though the narrator clearly states “I loved the old man. He never wronged me.” He was killed because of his eye. The narrator couldn’t stand it when the eye fell upon him so he decided to take the old man’s life. This means that the old man didn’t do anything on purpose to aggravate his killer but still suffered consequences.

Sound, as explained in the introduction, is used to draw the audience in. It’s something to help catch the crowd's attention. Another way that sound is used to create suspense in the movie The Birds is the scene where Mitch walks outside to get the car. He practically has to wade through the birds. It’s so quiet that it causes your heart to race as you fear that something is about to happen. Even though there isn’t actually any sound, it still seems thrilling.

There are so many different and amazing ways to create suspense. Many of these are shown in the Tell-Tale Heart and The Birds. Some of the more obvious ones included Dramatic irony, Innocent Characters, and Sound. People thrive on suspense and love watching/reading stories such as these.

The author's comments:

This piece was written for an English class. I compared suspense to the short story The Tell-Tale Heart and the movie The Birds. I showed some of the more simple forms of suspense.

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