Edgar Allen Poe has explored three different themes: His own life, the nameless narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and the literary criticism on “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Edgar Allen Poe began his life in Boston, MA on the 19th of January in the year 1809 (Kennedy). He was the 2nd son of David Poe, Jr., a famous actor, and the actress known as Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe. David, his father, deserted his family a year after Poe was born, and died the following year, in December (Kennedy). Since his father left, David’s oldest son, Henry was left with some relatives that resided in Baltimore. Eliza, their mother, took care of Edgar and his younger sister, Rosalie, while continuing to be an actress. His mother eventually passed away
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What is not learned until the end, is that the narrator is the cause of his own torture (Gargano). In majority of Poe’s stories, each protagonist, or main character, in each story is psychologically obsessed with a strange phenomenon, that has an effect throughout the story (May). For example, in the earlier parts of the story, the protagonist thought to himself, “TRUE!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily—how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe).
The Tell-Tale Heart, is a story, although, not revealed, about father-son incest (Kachur). Throughout the story, the old man was the “eye”, or “vulture’s eye” as the narrator calls it. The “eye” is what kept the narrator unnerved, and was the main reason that drove him to kill the man (Madi and Shadi). In the beginning of the story, the narrator said, “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! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the