The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

1066 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
William E. Channing once said, “No punishment is so terrible as prosperous guilt.” Guilt can haunt a person and eat away at his or her conscience until the weight of their wrongdoings is unbearable. The human heart cannot withstand the burden of guilt. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, a mentally ill man is pushed to his breaking point by the guilt of his maniacal actions. Likewise, in Aaron Blaise’s Brother Bear, a young Inuit hunter sees the awful consequences of his anger-driven actions and cannot stand his unrelenting guilt. The two stories support the notion that the human heart is incapable of withstanding the burden of guilt through their characters, suspense, and conflicts. The stories character’s react differently to their burden, but both illustrate the central theme of the destructive burden of guilt. In Poe’s famous story, the man’s murder is very premeditated. He carefully plans his vicious murder, and everything must be perfect for him to execute the malevolent plan. Oftentimes, his plan involves intense periods of waiting. After he accomplishes his dreadful task, he is physically affected by his nagging guilt. Poe describes the narrator’s feelings: “But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ear: but still they sat and chatted” (Poe). The narrator’s guilt drives him to hallucinate the sound of the dead old man’s ticking watch. In contrast, Kenai, the main character in Brother Bear,…

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