Essay on The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

1194 Words Sep 28th, 2014 5 Pages
In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator is haunted by an old man’s blue eye, so he decides to murder the man and rid himself of it. He takes great care in watching the old man, cautiously waiting for the right moment, until he finally carries out the act. The police are called to the house by a neighbor, and the narrator acts as a friendly host to them, having hidden the man’s body under the floor so it cannot be found. All is well until the man begins to hear a low, soft thumping noise—the beating of the old man’s dead heart—which torments him until he frantically, violently confesses the murder to the police. Poe uses the crazed, conniving mind of the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” as well as the symbols of the blue eye and the dead man’s heart to show that not even a depraved mind can escape guilt. From the very first sentence of the story, the narrator works anxiously to convince the audience that he is not mad, but from these pleas the reader can glean that, not only is he insane, but he does not realize it. “True!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am! but why will you say that I am mad?” says the protagonist. He is so eager to win the audience over to his side that he does not realize that he is alienating them in the process. He pleads with the reader four different times, attempting to prove, by each carefully calculated step in the murder, that what the reader would “mistake for madness is but…

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