Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart
In 1843, Edgar Allan Poe’s 2,200- word first person unreliable narrative short story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” was published. Edgar Allan Poe was a successful editor, literacy critic and American writer who wrote short stories and poetry. The Tell-Tale Heart is known for its unnamed narrator’s insanity and classifies Poe’s writing as a gothic fictional story. The narrator explains in the opening of the story that he killed the old man, but it was not for passion nor desire for money. He feared the foggy blue eye of the old man. During the day the narrator acted normal and would speak to the old man asking him “How are you?” At night he would sneaked into the old man’s house every night for a week to observe him sleep. …show more content…
The narrator was never given an exact name, but a pronoun throughout the entire story, referring himself as “I”. The characterization of “I” gives an impression of being paranoid, stalker, two-faced, grumpy, cruel, clever and a lair. The narrator stalked his prey for several nights, while carrying a light conversation during the day and says, “I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him” (p.92). He demonstrates the feeling of being grumpy, sadist and clever during the scene of when he had to strike the man because of the angry his eyes brought to the narrator. Greta Olson cites Wayne Booth, known for the Booth’s model, “understanding narrator’s unreliability to be a function of irony” (p.93). Irony is further elaborated in Booth’s model as the personal views, actions and voice of anyone implied by the author or narrator (p.94). Edgar Allan Poe’s stories …show more content…
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Kachur, Robert M. "Buried in the bedroom: Bearing Witness to Incest in Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart'." Mosaic [Winnipeg] 41.1 (2008): 43+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Sep. 2012. http://www.davidglensmith.com/wcjc/1302/PDFs/Kachur-Heart.pdf
Olson, G. "Reconsidering Unreliability: Fallible and Untrustworthy Narrators." Narrative, vol. 11 no. 1, 2003, pp. 93-109. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/nar.2003.0001
Robinson, E. Arthur. “Poe's ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.’” Nineteenth-Century Fiction, vol. 19, no. 4, 1965, pp. 369–378. JSTOR, JSTOR,