Essay about Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

Essay about Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

Length: 1467 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


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 from tuberculosis sometime after her final stage performance on October in 1811, she died on the 8th of December in Richmond, Virginia. Afterwards, Edgar found a home John Allan and his wife, Frances Valentine Allan. They were a childless couple, who raised Edgar as their very own, yet, they never decided to adopt him (Kennedy).
Poe wrote poems to nearby girls as a young child. One woman he cherished though, Jane Stith Stanard, a mother of his friend, died in 1824. Poe was known his athleticism, he often participated in races, and boxing (Kennedy). Allan insisted Poe to enroll into the University of Virginia in 1826. He studied modern and classical languages there. At the college, alcohol and gambling were common, as was fist fights (Kennedy). As Poe was 20 years of age, his future seemed brighter. Because of Allan, Poe had an appointment with West Point (Kennedy).

Poe loves to write about darker, morbid things that make the reader judge the protagonist’s actions, yet pity him for doing such a thi...


... middle of paper ...


... Heart: Overview." Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Poe, Edgar. "The Tell-Tale Heart." ibiblio.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb 2014. .
Stedman, Edmund Clarence. "Edgar Allan Poe." Scribner's Monthly 20 (May-Oct. 1880): 107-124. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Jay Parini and Janet Mullane. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale Research, 1987. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Ward, Alfred C. "Edgar Allan Poe: 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination'." Aspects of the Modern Short Story: English and American. University of London Press, 1924. 32-44. Rpt. in Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson and Marie Lazzari. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- ... In the telling of the narrator’s story the man starts to complain about a disease but not because it hurt the man’s senses instead the narrator says it sharpens it. It is possible that the narrator suffers from not only paranoia but also has a case of having a persona of Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde which is known as schizophrenia (Illness in “The Tell-Tale Heart”). This is from the way the narrator waivers back in forth in the story between what is happening in the real world and what is going on in the man’s head with the hallucinations....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart]

Powerful Essays
716 words (2 pages)

The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Murder in the 1st degree When was the last time you looked at someone and knew instantly that a person was insane. Is it not safe to assume when an individual shows us kindness and compassion we tend to believe he/she won’t harm us. It’s a scary thought that the people we interact with may not be who we think they are. In the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, I was introduced to a character known only as “Old Man”. The old man didn’t have any known enemies and he thought he was safe, until a madman sneaked into his bedroom....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Human]

Powerful Essays
775 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

- For a very long time, authors have been writing bone chilling stories, most of which share similarities. Some of these similarities include crime, mystery, obsession, suspense and a “mad man” character. According to Merriam Webster, the full definition of the noun “horror” is “a very strong feeling of fear, dread, and shock”. An example of story that possesses such a characteristic is “The Tell Tale Heart” written by the father of horror himself, Edgar Allan Poe. Poe resided in Boston and Baltimore during the spooky 1800s and his work reveals the mood of the era....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart]

Powerful Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe Essay examples

- “The Tell-Tale Heart” In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, there are only five characters mentioned in the story: the narrator, the old man, and three police officers, none of whom is ever named. Throughout the story, the narrator tells the audience over and over that he is not mad. He becomes obsessed with trying to prove that he is not a madman and eventually goes crazy in the end. He tells the story of how he kills the old man after seven nights of watching him sleep. He has nothing against the old man and actually likes him, but it is the old man’s pale blue eye with a film over it that overwhelms the narrator with anger....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart]

Powerful Essays
1043 words (3 pages)

Essay about The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

- A Tale of a Raging Heart In each person lies a beating heart tattooing their lives to the insides of their rib cages. Each beat bringing them closer to the inevitable. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” readers listen to the raging heartbeat of the elusive main character that sets out to murder the old man living in his house. Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” certainly conveys the narrator’s identification with the old man, and illustrates the narrator’s ultimate self destruction; however, Poe most effectively presents the narrator’s obsession with the eye of the old man....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart]

Powerful Essays
1437 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

- The feeling of guilt can weigh over a person’s head until it consumes them to the point of madness. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, exemplifies this ideology as he conveys the concepts of internal insanity and the repercussions you face if you act upon those thoughts. The narrator explains early on his nervousness and how all of his senses are heightened, especially his hearing, due to a “disease.” This “disease” is the primary reason for the main conflict that occurs throughout the story, where this old man’s eye disturbs him so excessively that he wants to kill him to be rid of it....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Death]

Powerful Essays
1467 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

- ... The questions also foreshadow the breaking point of the narrator and Poe did this on purpose to lead up to the climax and the breaking point of the characters in his stories. The questions that Poe integrates into the stories seem also to be repetitive of what he has said such as in "The Tell-Tale Heart" the narrator says in the beginning that "I can hear sounds I had never heard before." and later on in the story he asks "Have I not told you that my hearing had become unusually strong?"(Poe, 1)....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Short story]

Powerful Essays
1892 words (5.4 pages)

Essay about The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

- ... According to the narrator, "I saw [the eye] with perfect distinctness...I could see nothing else of the old man 's face or person;" (p.441). The narrator says, he loves the old man although his eyes are evil and fearful. The narrator is unable to figure out between right and wrong. He can not see that the eyes he considering as an evil is an inherent part of old man identity. His insanity proves when he believes that he is hearing the old man beating heart even though all the police officers in the room hears nothing....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Eye color]

Powerful Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- ... This makes the narrator nervous and as he says it makes his “blood run cold.” This obsession over the old man’s eye convinces the narrator that he must kill the old man. As the story goes on the narrator is less mad and more consumed by guilt. Poe shows us this ringing guilt by writing, (3) “My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: -- he continued and became more distinct: account more freely to get rid of the feeling: that it continued and gained definiteness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.” In this we learn that the narrator is starting to hear things....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Short story]

Powerful Essays
1700 words (4.9 pages)

The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” is the story of the narrator and his decision and act to kill an old man with whom he lived. The narrator and the old man are never named throughout the story, neither are any supporting character such as the neighbors or the policemen. This aspect of the story gives the characters anonymity and takes the reader into the story, even calling them out at various points throughout. The narrator in this story is not given a history or even a description. His actions and thoughts through the story, lead the reader to believe that he is partially, if not wholly, insane....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Heart rate]

Powerful Essays
1634 words (4.7 pages)