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Essays On The Tell Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Essay

1035 Words5 Pages

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a short story about internal conflict and obsession, showcases the tortured soul due to a guilty conscience. The story opens with an unnamed narrator describing a man deranged and plagued with a guilty conscience for a murderous act. This man, the narrator, suffers from paranoia, and the reason for his crime is solely in his disturbed mind. He becomes fixated on the victim’s (the old man’s) eye, and his conscience forces him to demonize the eye. Finally, the reader is taken on a journey through the planning and execution of a murder at the hands of the narrator. Ultimately, the narrator’s obsession causes an unjust death which culminates into internal conflict due to his guilty conscience. The…show more content…

The cold and calculating confession is due to the fact that the narrator has detached himself from all sense of normal remorse. His madness has rendered him unable to control ordinary emotions. Instead, he is left begging the reader to praise his cunningly accomplished acts. The narrator states, “You should have seen me,” and then implores again, “You should have seen how wisely I proceeded – and with what caution – with what foresight – with what dissimulation I went to work!” (Poe 923). It is apparent to the reader, or anyone of sound mind, that this man is suffering a mental breakdown due to obsessive paranoia. What triggered his obsession with the victim is something so simple it cannot be justified. It was the victim’s eye! The motivation for murder according to the narrator was “not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye” (Poe 922). However, it is possible that the eye symbolizes a necrosis of the narrator’s spirit. The narrator uses terms such as “infuriate”, “hideous”, “vulture” and “dammed” when describing the eye (Poe 923). These words are often used to describe the demonization of individuals who commit irrational crimes against humanity, such as the crime our narrator is confessing to, the murder and dismemberment of an innocent old man in his sleep. In “The Physiognomical Meaning of Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’”, Edward W. Pritcher states “it

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Essay on Tell-tale Heart Literary Analysis

723 Words3 Pages

The Tell-Tale Heart
A Literary Analysis

Like many of Poe's other works, the Tell-Tale Heart is a dark story. This particular one focuses on the events leading the death of an old man, and the events afterwards. That's the basics of it, but there are many deep meanings hidden in the three page short story. Poe uses techniques such as first person narrative, irony and style to pull off a believable sense of paranoia. In this particular story, Poe decided to write it in the first person narrative. This technique is used to get inside the main character's head and view his thoughts and are often exciting. The narrator in the Tell-Tale Heart is telling the story on how he killed the old man while pleading his sanity. To quote a phrase…show more content…

Poe's economic style of writing is a key instrument in making this story amazing. In this story, he uses his style to truly bring out what he intended for the story - a study of paranoia. In example, "I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever. " it is easy to see that Poe used short sentences, to capture the rapid thoughts of a twisted mind.

Perhaps the biggest element in this story is the use of irony, both verbally and dramatically. For verbal irony, we can see clearly at the end that what the narrator tells the officers and how he acts on the outside, (in a "cool manner", as he puts it) is much different than the chaos on the inside, as in what he wants to say. He sees the police as "villains" and wishes them to leave, but due to the situation, he had to keep them there. The more that he assures himself of his sanity near the end of the story and the more that he thinks that he is acting coolly, eventually leads him to reveal that he is the one that killed the old man after all. As for dramatic irony, since we know that the narrator is the one that killed the old man,

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