The Tell Tale Heart Rhetorical Analysis

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In the short story The Tell Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe writes about a character who is never differentiated between a male and a female. The narrator explains his reasoning behind murdering his neighbor, an innocent old man. The old man had never done anything to the narrator, but he or she felt like killing him was the best thing to do. Throughout the story the narrator uses pathos and ethos in order to convince the audience that he is somehow the victim in the story. The author never reveals the gender of the narrator in the story, most assume it is a male. But, not knowing the gender of the main character does not affect the way I interpret the story, but it could make a difference for other people. In today’s society most people believe …show more content…
I heard many things in hell.” From what I know, people who are schizophrenic hear voices in their heads, and if the main character has heard it all it is because he is hearing it from the voices in his head. He constantly tries to imply that he is the innocent one. He wants to convince the reader that everything that was done was simply something that had to be done, even though it was his sickness that had something to do with it. He then starts to explain to his audience that he is not a “mad” man. In this situation he wants to tell us that he is perfectly fine and begins to speak of how the disease has not taken over him completely. The narrator says, “How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe). Not only does he want his audience to know that he is the victim but also, wants his readers to know that he has a very good reason for the awful incident that he has committed. It is as if he is bluffing when he states this quote. Sort of as if he is saying “how can a perfect, calm man commit such a crime”. This makes the audience think that he had a very good reason to do what he did, even though the audience knows the poor old man did nothing …show more content…
In fact, he never bothered him at all. The narrator does not have one thing against him but his evil pale blue eye is what triggers him. He states, “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. “ (Poe). It is as if he thought that his eye was going to kill him, therefore, he killed the old man instead. He took his own precautions and took actions into his own hands in order to be safe from the “vulture eye”. Even though we don’t know specifically what disease he has, we can gather this information and say he could be paranoid or be schizophrenic. We also do not know the narrator’s past. Something could have happened to him which made him be very angry towards eyes, to the point where he has to kill someone for it. For this reason, he sees himself as a victim of something that he has no control over. He tries to justify himself by explaining his actions were out of protection for his own well-being. The narrator is using the appeal to our emotions to convince us that he is the victim, he wants us to feel bad for him and the situation he is

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