The Tell Tale Heart Analysis

1218 Words5 Pages
“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe is a first-person narrative short story that showcases an enigmatic and veiled narrator. The storyteller makes us believe that he is in full control of his mind yet he is experiencing a disease that causes him over sensitivity of the senses. As we go through the story, we can find his fascination in proving his sanity. The narrator lives with an old man, who has a clouded, pale blue, vulture-like eye that makes him so helpless that he kills the old man. He admits that there was no interest, no passion whatsoever in killing the old man, whom he loved. Throughout the story, the narrator directs us towards how he boldly ends up committing a horrifying murder and dissecting the corpse into pieces. Subsequently, we can observe that the conventional definition of irony is met; he tries to convince the readers about his fully sane state of mind but in turn, ends up exposing his utmost insanity. The narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” who claims to be sane is in fact trying to get away with the punishment for the crime that he readily admits by faking insanity through ironic means.
Edgar Allan Poe, the writer himself is the one who establishes the irony in this story, not the narrator because the latter seems to be completely insensible about the ironic component of his monologue. The conventional critical analysis of "The Tell-Tale Heart" might engage the story from the point of view that the narrator's attempt to prove his sanity might be an exercise in irony. Irony, in today’s world, can be easily misinterpreted by most of us because we tend to get confused with it taking it like nothing as literary as a comedown of an unintended coincidence. In a sense, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is similar to the no...

... middle of paper ... entire monologue is groomed with references to how he carefully constructed the plan to kill the old man and even took terrible pains to execute the plan. Perhaps these are the acts of a mad man. The narrator is not a crazy killer, but simply a premeditated murderer.
When all the known facts are assembled, along with theoretical assumptions based on those facts, readers are left with a monologue that appears to be delivered by an unreliable and an intangible narrator, who seems like being engaged in dramatic irony by making them look guilty by paradoxically insisting on proving innocence. The real irony, in the contemporary sense, is that what has been taken as obvious evidence of the narrator's insanity is actually, when closely examined, evidence of a man attempting to escape judgment for the guilt he readily he admits by faking insanity through ironic means.
Get Access