Autobiographical Memory In The Tell-Tale Heart

1949 Words 8 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe, responsible for many of the most renowned works of poetry and short fiction, often includes a “psychological intensity” in his writing that has created interest in the interaction between psychology and literature (“Edgar Allan Poe”). One of his best-known works, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” is a good example of this interaction, showcasing Poe’s interpretation of psychological fiction and the genre of horror. In the story, the narrator recounts his tale of the killing of his housemate, an old man with an evil eye, to an unnamed audience. In the narrator’s story, he describes how he waits and watches the old man for seven nights before finally killing him on the eighth night. Although the narrator tries to convince his audience that he is not mad, he eventually admits that he has killed the old man in a fit of madness. The motive behind the crime, the evil eye, has become the focus of many critical analyses. Many critics have focused on the narrator’s obsession with the evil eye, and they have used various forms of psychoanalysis to attempt to …show more content…
Conway’s theory has four components: specific episodic events, general events, lifetime periods, and the working self. Together, these four parts sum up a person’s memories of his/her own life. These aspects of autobiographical memory are present in the method that the narrator uses to tell his story. He categorizes “how healthy [his] mind is” (Poe 64) as a lifetime period, utilizes the death of the old man as one of the general events that has occurred during that period, and describes specific episodic scenes from the old man’s murder. Although these three aspects of the theory are adequately covered in the narrator’s method of storytelling, there is still a question of how the working self plays a role in the narrator’s

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