Rat In The Walls And The Tell Tale Heart Analysis

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The authors, of “Rat’s in the Walls” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe respectively use their past and childhood experiences to allow a blurring of the lines on whether the narrator is trustworthy in his telling of the story or not. The era, that both Poe and Lovecraft were a part of, was the gothic era where it was the ‘craze’ to write these stories that enticed the fear of the unknown in us. This fear is what allows the reader to question whether it is reliable what they are reading from the narrator or not. In “Rats in the Walls” the narrator, a man by the name of Mr. Delapore, whereas our narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” is an unnamed man. The reliability and trustworthiness of these two narrators rely on the …show more content…
Why do we wish as a species to approach the unspeakable, the unknowable, the vision that, like Medusa with her horrific head of serpents, will prove unbearable”(184). This shows that the fear instilled within us is what keeps us intrigued. As Mr. Delapore went into the depths of Exham, it brought out the demonic natures of his ancestry and he is overcome and awakes with a half eaten corpse of Captain Norrys. This led to him being institutionalized since he ate a man. Also, by today’s standards, a man who lives with nine cats could be considered a little on the crazy or insane category further proving him to be not trusted for information. Secondly, a man who eats others is not a reliable source for a recollection of events. Thus our narrator, Mr. Delapore, turns out to be an unreliable source of narration.

Next, in “The Tell-Tale Heart”, our narrator, who Edgar Allan Poe left unnamed, forces the reader to scepticism about the reliability of the narrator. This is because in the first paragraph he says:
“True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses – not destroyed – not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily
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Brett Zimmerman took another supporting view of the narrator, in his article about “The Tell-Tale Heart” called Frantic Forensic Oratory, in which he says, “‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ is in fact an extended example of what classical Greek and Roman rhetors called antirrhesis”(40). Zimmerman explained that antirrhesis was “the rejection of an argument or opinion because of its error, wickedness, or insignificance”(40). Zimmerman’s take on “The Tell-Tale Heart” analyzes the way that the narrator talks about himself, how the narrator keeps trying to convince the reader that he is not mad. Poe uses the rhetorical statements throughout the entire story. Zimmerman also states that another device is used in “The Tell-Tale Heart”, one that is often used by the narrators of Poe’s stories, “praeparatio (preparing an audience before telling them about something done)”(41). Thus Brett Zimmerman gave enough evidence to convince any reader that this narrator is mad; therefore an unreliable

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