Answer to Question #194658 in English for Makaia Hill

Question #194658

How does having elements of the supernatural lend to a storyline? For example, in Macbeth, witches, a floating dagger, & a ghost (Act 3 scene 4) are part of the play.

Expert's answer

The purpose of the supernatural in Literary Works The purpose of the supernatural in literature can vary in function from story to story. The supernatural can be used to create a certain mood in writing or to enhance the dramatic effect of a story. The supernatural can also be used as the reasoning behind a story and act as the theme it centers on, creating a paranormal effect and a mystical experience for the reader.

In human nature there exists a morbid desire to explore the darker side of life. As human beings we make every effort to deny our curiosity in the things that frighten us, but deep down we secretly thrive on that cool rush of fear.

This story again reinforces the severity of defying the supernatural, and the strong belief the puritans held in the actuality of a figurative God and Devil. This story repercussions the idea that there is nowhere to hide from these supernatural powers.

Poe uses the supernatural to create a fear and set a mood in his stories. They are dark and always seem to have a surprise lurking around each turn. He reinforces the fear of an overpowering doom that cannot be escaped. In the story, The Telltale Heart, the imagery of a heart beating beneath the floorboards is riveting. You feel that the heart is really beating; it's not just the imagination of a madman. The narration is done totally in the first person and never gives the sex of the person. The narrator is described as the caretaker of an old man. This technique allows the reader to identify with the narrator/murderer and assume the caretaker is the same sex as the reader. When women read the Telltale Heart most feel the narrator is a woman, as most caretakers are women. When a man reads this story he believes that the narrator is a man.

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