The Horror of The Tell-Tale Heart

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The Horror of The Tell-Tale Heart

Writers can use many tricks to make a story seem more interesting to the reader. From the words they pick to the setting to the time of the day... the possibilities are endless. In the story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe, the use of light and darkness, the description of the mans eye and the time frame make the story more scary than anything else. Poe also uses suspense at the end to make the readers heart beat faster.

The speaker starts the story out by explaining that he doe not hate the old man that he is about to kill. In fact he even says that he loves him and that he has always been nice to him. The reason he must kill him however is because of what he calls his evil eye. When he describes it one can only have the feel of disgust just imaging it. "One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture-a pale blue eye, with a film over it" (Poe, 1). In the way that the reader describes the eye one gets the impression that the eyes looks as if it dead, maybe making the speaker feel that he has the right to kill the man.

The next trick that Poe uses and probably the most interesting is the use of lightness and darkness. Every time the speaker goes into the room to look at the man he always describes the room as being pitch black. Even he takes extra precautions so as not to give off any light into the room. When he goes into the room, he takes a lantern with him but keeps it covered. The only time the lantern gets to shine is when the speaker wants to look at the mans face. Even with this he only shines "...a single thin ray...upon the vulture eye" (Poe, 2). It seems interesting that all of the reader's deeds must be performed in the dark almost as if he is ashamed of what he ...

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...r night and just watch the man.

Not only does the waiting let the reader know about the killer's seriousness but it also questions his sanity. From the begging of the story the speaker is trying to convince the reader that he has justification in wanting this man to die because of his dead eye. The way that he waits up night after night and watches this man reflects that of a stalker. And at the end when he pulls the boards from the floor to reveal the old man's hacked body, he says he did it because the old mans heart kept on beating and the sound was getting to him. One cannot help but think is this the story of a killer or a mad man?

This reading leaves many unanswered questions about the speaker and what his real intentions behind killing the old man might have been. However, what it does not leave to the imagination is much room for any more horror.
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