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The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Analysis

Updated September 10, 2022
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The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Analysis essay

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“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short fiction story presented by Edgar Allan Poe. The story is a blend of horror, fear and guilt which comes along as a result of the mindless deed. The author shows the consequence when someone commits wrongdoing and how it controls our future. He also gave proof of how guilt gets the better out of one’s conscience. The author uses vivid verbal descriptions, serious disagreement of character and representation of the object to be able to express and relay this message. The story is a short story of horror based on the behavior of paranoia, guilt and murder. The themes of the story are vital for readers to understand the madman’s reasoning for every single execution and as an expression of guilt that haunts the guilty.

On January 19, 1809, a boy named Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston Massachusetts to professional parents who died before the poet turned three years old. He was then raised by foster parents John and Frances Allan. Poe is an American writer, editor and literary commentator and is well known for his cultivation of mystery and gruesome writings. He was far ahead amongst other writers during his time for his unique foresight of the human experience hidden world of fantasies. Poe was also considered as the father of a modern detective story and his death is an intriguing question in American literature.
In this story, the author decided to use writing styles such as the first-person account of connected events, irony, symbolism, imagery, and fashion that would show off a convincing paranoia and get into the inner views and thoughts of the main character.

The narrator in “The Tell-Tale heart” story without further thought presume that the reader would be thinking him as a madman aspire to obtain acceptance from the reader [ “True nervous, very very dreadfully nervous I had been and am”]. At the very start of the story, he would ask, [“but why would you say that I am a madman?”]. All through the story, the narrator tries weakly to describe his sane behavior to the reader, anyone who reads the story clearly understands why as he tells his story. At first, he would tell the story in a calm manner but as he goes along jumps into a frantic manner that would manifest the inner conflict of the first character in Poe’s story. The main condition and emotional breakdown that concern one’s state of mind which he is not fully aware of showing off and influences his actions.

The storyteller in “The Tell-Tale heart” tells of how an old man’s “Evil eye” had distress and caused him suffering. Poe’s writing style shows the essence and main point to in making the story amazing. He uses a technique to bring out what he intended on a purpose wants to show in the story – Paranoia and what a person with this kind of disease experiences. For example [“I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me an insult. For his gold. I had no desire”] this statement shows an expression how the first character compliment and admired the old man. But suddenly change his mood in a frantic way. Example [“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 over me my blood ran cold, and so by degree, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man and get rid of the eye”]. It can be clearly seen that Poe uses captivating short sentences in a rapid style to capture thoughts of a perverted mind. The story focuses on the eye, to cause uncertainty and anxiety through lines. The narrator also uses some lines that show the lunatic personality of the character, Example: due to his extreme sense of hearing [“he can hear all things in heaven and on earth and many things in hell”] which is not normal in a person it actually shows the creepy side of the main person. So, the character does not know the reality, due to a mental condition and sick mind. The potential of this technique is that anyone could become a person like a victim or a narrator – who’s mentally unreliable.

The location of the story is centered in an old man’s chamber which Poe describes as pitch, black and dark and he did not give further detail of the place to give and emphasize a gothic feeling. The time in the story keeps repeating around midnight, the morning and four o’clock to give another feeling of mystery amongst the reader. Midnight is the most important time because it was given emphasis in most parts of this story. The time when the man creeps into the room and watches the old man sleep and he also murders the old man in midnight. The time is a very important factor in the story because it also connects to the behavior of the main character it shows during the day he would suddenly change his mood and pretend as if nothing happens when in fact he watches the old man sleeping in the night and no sane person would do what the main character was doing.

The narrator has successfully shown that the story is horror or gothic with multiple interpretations but neatly explains in the end as it was the intention of the storyteller. The story is dreadfully tense and lonely. Because of the setting at midnight, well we know that midnight is the devil’s hour and the characterization description such as Old man’s Evil Eye and the like. The narrator’s characterization is so miserable and is probably mentally ill. It may not show in the first few paragraphs but the tone of sadness envelopes every line as we go along the story. We think the whole thing is just imagination or some sort of sick joke because in some way the narrator’s argument is ridiculously amusing. The narrator is a sad figure in the story even if he is a murderer and it manifested in the panicky, nervous tone of the story. Even as we were awed by the quality of the tightly loaded, extremely worded and curiously worded sentences- open for discussion. The ten-paragraphed framed “The Tell-Tale Heart” story has many group of short sentences like this [“Object there was none, Passion there was none. I loved the old man.”] a string of just thirteen-word compilation. There are also longer one’s like this, [“So I opened it – yet you cannot imagine how stealthily, how stealthily – until at length, a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice, and fell upon the vulture eye”] the longer sentences gives us the actual description and noticed how it is less disappointed than the shorter ones, because the shorter ones left us wondering what it actually tells us. These words are carefully constructed to convey the story teller’s chaotic mind.

Obviously, the title refers to the old man’s heart “tell-tales” to the storyteller. The dead man’s heart does not beat anymore that is why he tells in the story that he could still hear the old man’s heart beating after on the eight nights when he already cut down the body and bury it under the floorboards. The story tells of his own heart, and the guilt made him aware of the beating of a heart and his present situation after committing the crime. The guilt that is obviously consuming his heart which still he cannot understand because of his ill mind. So the title refers to the narrator’s heart, where our deepest and truest feelings are hidden even if the mind cannot understand or cannot grasp the heart is there as a reminder of our being human. The story is about a conflicted mind that through the heart tells the story of his murder and through the heart wants to prove sanity. The mind can be twisted but the heart would always be a guiding path that would lead every human being to his sanity. So this story tells us that the mind may blind us but still we can see through the heart.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Analysis essay

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The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Analysis. (2020, Sep 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-tell-tale-heart-by-edgar-allan-poe-analysis/

FAQ

in "the tell-tale heart" by edgar allan poe, where has the narrator hidden a human heart?
In "The Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator hides the old man's heart, as well as the rest of his remains, beneath the floorboards of the old See full answer below.
What is the analysis of The Tell-Tale Heart?
Abstract. “The Tell – Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe is a short story written in the genre of horror. It describes the committing of murder and then confessing it due to being tormented by guilty conscious. The paper aims to analyze the story thoroughly including its themes and literary and rhetorical devices .
What is the main theme of The Tell-Tale Heart?
The main themes in "The Tell-Tale Heart" are the madness and sanity, the pressure of guilt, and the passage of time . Madness and sanity: the narrator's attempt to prove his sanity as he explains his meticulous plans for killing the old man only prove his madness.
what is the tone of the tell tale heart?
The narrator's tone in "The Tell-Tale Heart" can be described as agitated, defensive, and manic . Throughout the story, the unreliable narrator comes across as neurotic and mentally unstable when he speaks in staccato sentences, uses numerous exclamation points, and continually defends his sanity.
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