TPCASTT for *The Bells* T-Title

TPCASTT for “The Bells”
• T: Predict the TITLE
• What do you think the title means?
TPCASTT for “The Bells”
• Summarize the poem by stanza
• Stanza #1: It’s winter time and silver sleigh bells
can be heard lightly tinkling musically. Stars
twinkle in the night sky. The bells predict
merriment (happiness).
• Stanza #2: It’s summer time and golden wedding
bells can be heard ringing calmly and musically. A
turtledove looks at the moon as if it is in love
(turtledoves symbolize marriage because they
always come in two’s). The bells are musical and
predict happiness.
P-Paraphrase (continued)
• Stanza #3: A fire has broken out and the bells
now predict hopelessness. The bells cry out to
the fire and ask it to stop, but the fire keeps
burning and tries to reach the moon. The bells
are now out of tune and ringing noisily. A
person can tell when danger is worse because
the sound of the bells fades in and out when
there’s danger.
P-Paraphrase (continued)
• Stanza #4: A rusty iron funeral bell can be
heard ringing monotonously (one sound over
and over again). It is steady and depressing
and scares people at night. There are ghouls
and the king of the ghouls (zombie-like
creatures who eat dead human flesh) happily
ringing the bells up in the church tower. (A
paean is a holy song)
C-Connotation (Poetry Vocab)
• Stanza 1:
– Onomatopoeia: jingle, tinkle, tinnabulation
– Alliteration:
• Line 3 (“thesis statement” line): “What a world of merriment
their melody foretells!”
– W and M sounds repeated
– Lets you know the line is important
– Repetition
• “Bells” and “Time”
– Length:
• Shortest stanza
C-Connotation continued
• Stanza #2:
– Onomatopoeia: Chiming, ringing
– Alliteration:
• Line 3 again: “What a world of happiness their harmony
• W and H sounds repeat and let you know the line is
important (his “thesis” statement again)
– Length:
• 2nd shortest stanza
C-Connotation (Continued)
• Stanza #3:
– Onomatopoeia
• Shriek, clang, clash, twang, clamor, clangor, twanging,
wrangling, jangling
– Alliteration
• 3rd line again “What a tale of terror, now, their
turbulency tells”
– Repetition of “t” sounds lets you know this is important. The t
sounds are harsh
• More alliteration in this stanza (desperate desire, clang
and clash, frantic fire)
C-Connotation (continued)
• Stanza #4:
– Onomatopoeia: tolling
– Alliteration: “Muffled monotone,” “melancholy
menace” (m sounds are mimicking the bell)
– Assonance:
• 3rd line: “What a world of solemn thought their monody
– These O sounds slow down the poem
– O sounds were very sad to Poe so he included them here
– There IS alliteration here but it’s not the most important
Attitude (Tone)
• Stanza #1 Tone=Very happy
– Bell words: tinkle, jingle, tintinnabulation all trigger
happy thoughts
– Other words: heaven, delight, crystalline,
oversprinkle, melody (all have happy connotations)
– Images: kids on a sleigh, twinkling stars
• Stanza #2 Tone=Calm but still happy
– Bell words: Chiming
– Other words: Harmony, golden, delight, float,
swinging, euphony
– Images: turtledove and the moon
A-Attitude (Continued)
• Stanza #3 Tone= Panic/Fright
– Bell words: jangle, clang, clangor, clamor, twanging,
wrangling (negative words for ‘ringing’)
– Other words: terror, turbulency, affright, fire, despair,
danger horrified, frantic, desperate, etc.
– Images: the fire trying to reach a pale moon
• Stanza #4 Tone=Sad/Dark/Serious
– Bell words: monody, tolling/knelling (both words that are
specifically for funeral bells), groaning, rolling, sobbing,
throbbing, moaning (all have sad connotations/emotions
associated with them)
– Other words: melancholy, monotone, solemn, ghouls,
runic (means old, mysterious)
– Images: The image of the zombie-people ringing the bells,
of people lying in their beds shivering
S-Shifts (Changes in tone, time, place,
• Shift in tone
– Shift 1: happy/playful
– Shift 2: happy/calm
– Shift 3: violent/angry/frantic
– Shift 4: sad/solemn
– In other words, things just get worse and worse!!!
T-Theme (Major Ideas/Life Lessons)
• Life is full of different emotions
• Life gets worse as we get older.
• Happiness doesn’t last long compared with
T-Title Again
• Were you right in your predictions the first
time we looked at the title?
• What does the title mean to you now?

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