Symbolism In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allen Poe

Improved Essays
Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston on January 19th, 1809. In 1811 Poe experienced the first many tragedies he would face throughout his life, the death of his parents. After this, Poe was sent to live with his foster parents John and Frances Allen. With different ideas on what Poe should do with his life, in addition to John’s lack of financial funding towards Poe’s education, Poe began gambling to pay his expenses. This eventually led Poe to leave the Allen mansion and begin his quest to become a great poet. Apart from difficulties amongst his family, Poe suffered a lot at love’s hand. With the departure of his first fiancé Elmira Royster and the death of his wife Virginia in 1847 to tuberculosis, the disease that had already claimed Poe’s …show more content…
With the examples of “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” there are strong uses of symbolism. In “The Tell Tale Heart” there is the symbol of the evil eye, known in many cultural aspects represents misfortune and the curse of malevolent glare. This idea plays in with the description and the others representation of the old man’s evil eye. Also, eyes are said to be windows to the soul and what the narrator sees when he looks in the old man’s eye represents himself, this idea can be based on the words the narrator uses to describe the eye. Like comparing it to a “vulture” an accurate portrayal of how the narrator handles the body (Krappe 85). Another symbol used in this short story are the lantern, which is commonly seen as a beacon in relation to the narrator’s goal in killing the old …show more content…
In “The Black Cat” and “The Tell Tale Heart” both main characters are clearly insane, further proven by the hideous murders they commit. “But why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed them, and not dulled them.” (Poe 1) In this quote we see how illness and insanity are viewed together, which could stems from Poe’s personal experience of the death of his wife to sickness leading to the insanity of grief. In “The Tell Tale Heart”, readers see the theme of addiction through the main character who has a problem with alcohol. This problem is a contributing factor to the narrator’s angry disposition. “But my disease grew upon me-for what disease is like alcohol!”(Poe 2) which seems to personally relates to Poe’s problems with

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    This fear had caused Poe to be distant and not get involved in any serious relationships. Tuberculosis had haunted Poe on certain nights considering his wife, and both foster and birth mother had died from the disease. Poe had always spoke of the death of a young beautiful woman in his poems such as The Raven, Anabel Lee, and Ulalume ("How Does the Edgar Allan Poe 's Poem”). Not only was death a main topic of what he wrote, but death had took a major toll on his life. His most memorable work was influenced from the traumatic events during his younger years that had involved his most close companions who were ill and had died.…

    • 1359 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “The Black Cat” is a tale of the woes which plague a man as he goes insane from paranoia of his wrongdoings. In addition he has an alcohol problem and undergoes a traumatic transformation as he is plagued by his murder of his wife and multiple beloved cats. The character is not incriminated under the law, so it seems like he is free. However, the inner turmoil which ensues drives him nearly to insanity. Edgar Allan Poe, known for his sinister…

    • 1440 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Poe’s depressive mood is also visible in the “Black cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado” where his main protagonists commit terrifying crimes and walled victims. Poe’s depression splashed in his horror short stories where is one of depressed character 's commit terrifying…

    • 1038 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Abandoned by his father, Poe was left to take care of his mother, who later died of tuberculosis. After his mother died, Poe was an orphan. He was later adopted into the home of John Allan, who was a well know entrepreneur in his time. Tension later developed between Edgar and john over gambling accusations and education debts. Poe went to university of Virginia, but he was required to leave over lack of money.…

    • 1052 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    2: 705-743). Although both stories have diverse plots, their main characters are similar because they both suffer from their own insanity. In “The Black Cat” Poe shows the result of progressive insanity and how it later effects overall actions. Stephen King makes a point in Misery to show the outcome of ones emotions and how they block out logic to focus on their unrealistic wants. Both stories display greatly how much of an impact the mind has on everything.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Edgar Allan Poe Influences

    • 1687 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Edgar had two other siblings: William Henry Leonard (January 30, 1807 - August 1, 1832) and Rosalie Mckenzie Poe (December 20, 1810 - July 21, 1874) (eapoe.org). Because of the unexpected death of Poe’s parents, Rosalie and himself were adopted by a man named Mr. John Allan (Hirst 1). Edgar received an education and lived a wealthy lifestyle under the care of Mr. John Allan, but their relationship was fueled by volatility. They never saw eye to eye due to their strong-headed behavior and their independent spirits (eapoe.org). Edgar never really felt accepted due to his difficult life under the care of John Allan, so he developed a close and loving relationship with his Aunt Maria Clemm (eapoe.org).…

    • 1687 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Great Writers Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe are two of the biggest poets from the 1800s. They are both great writers whose lives contributed to their styles of writing and who wrote about death. They both write about experiences of death and how it affect the living. Edgar Allan Poe lost his parents at the age of three. His later life was spent struggling with alcoholism and depression due to loneliness (May,Edgar Allan Poe).Poe’s writings often reflected a common theme of death because that is all he saw when he was growing up.…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Edgar Allan Poe Style

    • 451 Words
    • 2 Pages

    For instance, in the story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the old man is killed by someone he trusts. This example of irony is situational irony. The irony helps create the emotional effect of the story because it shows that you really can't trust anyone which creates a terrifying mood, which helps support the emotional effect of horror of premeditated death. Additionally, Poe’s style is shown in his use of repeated elements. In the poem “Annabel Lee,” the narrator showed the repeated element of obsession.…

    • 451 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The reader finds out that Roderick Usher is a sick man whose fears show themselves through his bizarre, sentient family estate. The first analysis the audience can get is that the madness of the main is in fact, caused by truly supernatural events. That is, he’s not crazy his house really is haunted, and his sister really is back from the dead. Another interpretation the reader gets is that the madness really is imaginary. This madness and supernatural event whether it is imaginary or not can be associated with alcohol effects in real life.…

    • 984 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Certain characters murder, some desecrate other humans, some drop everything and everyone, and some are buried by the obsession. The theme of obsession in the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe portray the consequences of succumbing to human whim and how it can take full control of your mind if one lets it. Due to Poe?s centrality of insanity throughout his short stories, the theme which stands out the most is obsession. [22: Poe…

    • 2138 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays

Related Topics