A Narrative Discourse Analysis of Poe's Short Story "The Tell-Tale Heart": Implications for Language Teaching

  •  Morad Alsahafi    


This paper employs narrative discourse analysis to analyze Edger Allen Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by using two narrative analysis frameworks that focus on the macrostructure (Stein, 1982) and microstructure (Halliday & Hasan, 1976) aspects of the story. The analysis covers the story's purpose, generic structure, and lexicogrammatical cohesion. Findings show that the writer follows a series of structural moves and uses a variety of narrative strategies (e.g. high level of involvement and a wide range of lexical and grammatical cohesive ties) which contribute to the creation of a well-formed text that has effectively achieved its purpose and made its intended effect. This paper argues that there are many ways in which this macro- and microstructure analysis of the story may be exploited in the English language classroom. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the analysis and offers some suggestions and engaging activities for language teaching purposes.

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