The Tell Tale Heart And The Black Cat Essay

2112 Words Oct 21st, 2016 9 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat both ‘include a self-defensive, insane murderer’, but expose the reader to the events of the texts by employing different narrative strategies. In The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe establishes an unstable narrator to play with the ideas of subjectivity and reality. Juxtaposing this, the narrative voice in The Black Cat initially portrays himself as a highly logical, preparing the reader to interpret the events he describes as factual. The Tell-Tale Heart distances the reader from events through the eerily logical language used in relation to the narrator’s decision to murder his neighbour, while The Black Cat shows a divide between the narrator’s presentation of accidentally revealing his murder and his subconscious desire to expose his guilt.

The Tell-Tale Heart establishes an unstable narrative voice which creates a division between the narrator’s subjective telling of events and reality. Resultantly, the event of the narrator’s confession is impacted by the narrative voice. The text opens with an exclamation from the narrator: ‘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.’ In the abrupt opening, the voice interrupts itself to create a jittery syntax on the topic of his sanity. The idea of the narrator as unstable is constructed, and the reader is prepared to doubt the reliability of his perception of…

Related Documents