The Narrator's Language In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allen Poe
One of Edgar Allen Poe's most famous short stories is "The Tell-Tale Heart", which was first published in 1843. The story is told by an unnamed narrator, who describes in a very detailed way the murder he committed. His victim is the old man he lives with/ he is living with. The narrator's only and not very justifiable reason for his deed is that he is afraid of the old man's vulture eye and that in order to get rid of his fear he has to kill the old man. After his deed is done, the narrator dissects the corpus of the man and hides the body parts under the floorboards of the room. The neighbours, who are alarmed by the noises, call the police, which/who arrives shortly after. The narrator confidently leads the police officers in and shows them …show more content…
As mentioned before the narrator is a mad monologist and, therefore, the narrator has a specific language. Gaby Allrath states that one of the indicators for the language of a mad monologist is that his sentences are not only fragmented but also marked by interjections (Allrath 1998:70). The following examples will show that the language of the narrator is marked by sentence fragments and conjunctions and that they get more frequent as the narrator loses his sanity.
Gaby Allrath associates the fragmented language with the emotional involvement of the narrator (Allrath, 1998:70). In "The Tell-Tale Heart" the fragmented language and the narrator's emotional state are linked. Indicators for that are that right before the murder the language of the narrator starts to be fragmented as shown in the following example:
"So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length, a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture