- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

The Tell Tale Heart And

By:   •  Essay  •  925 Words  •  March 21, 2010  •  1,284 Views

Page 1 of 4

The Tell Tale Heart And

Edgar Allan Poe is acknowledged today as one of the most brilliant and original writers in American literature. He skillfully wrought tales and poems convey with passionate intensity the mysterious, dreamlike, and often horribly gruesome forces that spread throughout his sensibility. He is also considered the father of the modern detective story.

The Tell Tale Heart is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator remains nameless and sexless in the story. He takes care of an old man with whom the relationship is unclear. At the beginning of the story, the narrator says that he loved the old man but he hates his eye and h/she believes that the eye is evil. He confesses that the one and only reason for killing the old man is his eye: "Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees - I made up my mind to take the life of the old man". The narrator begins the story by trying to convince the reader that he is not insane. The fact that the old man's eye is the only motivation to murder proves the narrator is mentally unstable.

For seven nights precisely at midnight, the narrator enters the old man's room to observe the eye. On the eighth night the narrator enters the room and the old man sat suddenly in his bed, crying out "who's there?" the narrator stood still for over an hour, as did the old man who did not lie back down. Then he opened the lantern slightly and the ray was on the eye only. This made the narrator go furious and he moved to the old man who shrieked once, hedragged him off his bed and killed him. The old man's body was chopped and buried under the planks of the floor. The police came because of a shriek reported by a neighbor. He invited them and they sat chatting, after a while the narrator started hearing the old man's heart beating from under the flooring. The heart beat grew louder and louder, finally he confesses of killing the old man.

At the beginning of the story the narrator asks the reader if they think of him mad: "I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?" the more he keeps asking the more the reader is convinced that he is mentally unstable. The narrator says in the story that he observes the old man every night precisely at midnight. At midnight most people are asleep and while people are sleeping their unconsciousness takes over them. The old man's eye might be the narrator, for when he describes the feelings of the old man as if they are he feelings. The old man's room represents the unconsciousness because its face is imagined as something dark and unfamiliar to humans: "His room was as black as pitch with thick darkness". The narrator says in the story that he knew that the old man was scared, it is not possible for him to know the feeling of the old man unless it was him: "It was not a groan of pain, or grief - oh, no! - it was the low, stifled sound that arise from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well". He enters the room and opened the lantern, the ray was on the old man's eye

Continue for 3 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay The Tell Tale Heart And
Download as (for upgraded members)