Symbolism In The Tell Tale Heart

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In the short story, The Tell Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe, an unnamed narrator tells the story of how he aspires to convince the readers of his sanity, while delineating a murder he 's committed. In this short story, the victim of the murder was an old man who had done nothing wrong; however, the narrator was convinced that he needed to eliminate the old man and his ‘vulture - eye’ as the narrator refers to it. There are many literary devices that Poe uses throughout this short story, including symbolism. The old man’s eye, the lantern, and the heartbeat are all examples of symbolism. These three examples all tie together to represent the theme of the story, which is guilt. The old man’s eye in The Tell Tale Heart, is the first example …show more content…
The narrator discusses the beating of the old man’s heart several times throughout the story; however, the heartbeat seems to have grown louder and faster as the narrator got more nervous and the scene increased with intensity. The narrator talks about the beating of the old man’s heart as he is watching him sleep at night before he commits the crime. The narrator hears the beating of the heart once again as he tries to prevent the police from finding out that he murdered the old man. The repetitive heartbeat increases in speed and becomes louder in the narrator’s ear until he simply cannot take it anymore, leading him to confess his wrongdoing of murdering the old man. “The heart in "The Tell-Tale Heart" serves a dual purpose. It is the source of the narrator 's anxiety as he is watching the old man and it 's loud beating, which is most likely the beating of his own heart, is the impetus that drives him to kill. The heart also represents the narrator 's inner demons, which are revealed, unintentionally, in the telling of the story. The narrator 's own nervousness and guilt over his actions causes him to confess his crime” (Bouchard). The heartbeat is inferred to be from the old man’s heart as well as the narrator 's heart, as it climaxes its potency of guilt expressed by the narrator. The old man’s heartbeat expresses the symbolism of the guilt that was intended for him in the future; however, the sound of the heartbeat coming from the narrator is expressed by the symbolism of the guilt of what he has done and his feelings about it afterwards. The heartbeat of both the old man and the narrator contributes to the theme of guilt throughout the story by conveying a deeper reasoning of the guilt and self - conscious thoughts during and after the

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