The Tell-Tale Heart
Get an expert to write your essay! Get your paper now. Professional writers and researchers. Sources and citation are provided. Essays on The Tell Tale Heart. It was first published in It tells a short story about the narrator who kills an old man and hides his dismembered body under the floorboards. It is considered as one the best Gothic fiction stories ever written. The ringing increases in volume, for which the narrator compensates by chatting more jovially, but it finally turns into a dull beating which also begins to rise in volume.
The narrator becomes more and more agitated in his behavior, gesturing wildly and pacing back and forth, but the policemen hear and suspect nothing. Soon, the narrator begins to suspect that the pleasantries of the policemen are merely a ruse to ridicule his distress.
The Short Story The Tell-Tale Heart | Essay Writing Blog
However, he cannot stand the intensity of the beating and grows tired of what he perceives as the mockery of the policemen. He feels that he "must scream or die," so he finally shrieks the truth, telling the policemen to tear up the floorboards and reveal the beating of the old man's heart. The protagonist of the "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a classic example of Poe's unreliable narrator, a man who cannot be trusted to tell the objective truth of what is occurring.
His unreliability becomes immediately evident in the first paragraph of the story, when he insists on his clarity of mind and attributes any signs of madness to his nervousness and oversensitivity, particularly in the area of hearing. However, as soon as he finishes his declaration of sanity, he offers an account that has a series of apparent logical gaps that can only be explained by insanity.
In his writings, Poe often sought to capture the state of mind of psychotic characters, and the narrator of this story exhibits leaps of reasoning that more resemble the logic of dreams than they do the thought processes of a normal human being. The narrator's emotional instability provides a clear counterargument to his assertions of good judgment.
In almost no cases does he respond in the manner that one would expect. He is so bothered by the old man's vulture-like eye that his loathing overcomes his love for the man, leading him to premeditate a murder. Later, when he finally succeeds in killing the victim, he becomes positively cheerful, feeling that he has accomplished his goal cleverly and with the rationality that he associates with sanity. However, the unsuspecting behavior of the policemen suggests that the narrator has become essentially unaware of his behavior and his surroundings.
Because he cannot maintain the distance between reality and his inner thoughts, he mistakes his mental agitation for physical agitation and misinterprets the innocent chatter of the policemen for malevolence. Nevertheless, he imagines the whole time that he has correctly and rationally interpreted all the events of the story, suggesting that in Poe's mind, the key to irrationality is the belief in one's rationality.
The irony of the narrator's account in "The Tell-Tale Heart" is that although he proclaims himself to be too calm to be a madman, he is defeated by a noise that may be interpreted as the beating of his own heart. Because of the unreliability of the narrator, it is impossible to know for certain if the beating is a supernatural effect, the product of his own imagination, or an actual sound. However, a likely logical explanation is that when the protagonist is under stress, he hears the sound of his heart, "a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes enveloped in cotton," and he mistakes it for the sound of the old man's heart.
This lack of understanding parallels his lack of awareness of his actions as he chats with the policemen and highlights the lapses in reason which belie his claims of sanity. In order to create a narrative which will convince the reader of the protagonist's instability, Poe uses vocabulary that is consistently ironic or otherwise jarring to provoke a reaction contrary to that which the narrator desires.
The rhetorical technique that he uses in his account is to manipulate the connotations of words, but he is never subtle enough to hide his attempt to spin the argument. Where an outside observer might describe him as having plotted to observe the old man as he sleeps, the narrator tells the reader that "you should have seen how wisely I proceeded--with what caution--with what foresight--with what dissimulation I went to work! However, the blatancy of his attempt at deception enlightens rather than hoodwinks his audience.
Much as the minute depiction of the prisoner's experiences and senses creates an atmosphere of anticipatory terror in "The Pit and the Pendulum," Poe's manner of describing sound becomes a particularly important vehicle for conveying the mood of "The Tell-Tale Heart.
When he says, "The ringing became more distinctIt continued and became more distinct," we sense the building tension. The increasing intensity of the beating is again emphasized by the three repetitions of the phrase "but the noise steadily increased. Write an epilogue, or a conclusion to the story from the point of view of someone who was invited but chose not to enter the abbey. In the epilogue, explain what happened to this person and why he or she chose not to enter the abbey.
The Tell-Tale Heart Summary
I'm sorry, this is a short-answer forum designed for text specific questions. We are unable to provide students with essays or other writing assignments. Her furtively glanced behind him, for hear of his imagined pursuers, then hurriedly walked on, jumping at the slightest sound even of a leaf crackling under hos own foot.