Theme Of Naturalism In The Tell Tale Heart

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Many people have a fear of public speaking, heights, or spiders. In the Tell Tale Heart, however; one might find a newfound fear for a roommate stalking you in your sleep whilst planning your murder. This story distinctly uses naturalism, specifically in the case of the narrator. Naturalism plays with the ideas of men as beasts and also with fate versus free will. Both of these themes are displayed by the narrator. For instance, the narrator may be categorized as a beast since he plans this horrendous murder against the old man, for no other reason than the man’s deformed eye. To continue, fate versus freewill is exhibited by the narrator because he feels he has no choice but to kill the old man, yet he could have just as easily left the house …show more content…
Edgar Allen Poe’s A Tell Tale Heart is classified as a naturalism piece. Naturalism often employs the idea of men being ‘beasts’ and in the case of the narrator, he is the beast. It is evident from the very first line that the narrator is not completely sane, he states, “TRUE!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” He straight out asks the reader if he is crazy. Of course, beasts are often portrayed as full of rage and anger and violence, and at first it seems that the narrator is only slightly unstable. As the story continues, it is evident that the narrator is indeed, a beast when he states, “Whenever it [the eye] fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.” At this point it can be determined that the narrator has intentions to kill an innocent man; it can also be concluded that the narrator probably has some type of a mental illness leading him to these thoughts and ideas. Another aspect of naturalism that is presented in The Tell Tale Heart is the idea of fate versus freewill. The narrator, who is obviously disturbed, feels that he has to kill the old man to rid the world of his ‘vulture eye’; his …show more content…
This story heavily employs and emphasizes naturalism to display both men as beasts and fate versus free will within the narrator himself. The narrator is displayed as beast as he begins to describe and pursue his goal of murdering the old man, distinctly because he doesn’t like the man’s eye. Moreover, fate versus freewill is shown due to the fact that the narrator doesn’t even stop to think of another option besides killing the old man, he feels it is fate, while the reader obviously feels there could’ve been another option. Home is where the heart is, mostly commonly this phrase is meant to mean that home is a place of comfort and love. In the case of the narrator, however, the old man’s heart is literally in the floor boards and ultimately leads to his demise. This story was published in the middle of the civil war, when everything was being torn apart within the United States. The story itself leads to the same feeling of inner turmoil. Overall, The Tell Tale Heart is a dark tale of the internal struggle of a man first explaining his ‘sane’ reasons for murder, and then proving to not only to the reader, but to himself, that you can’t get away with

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