The Tell Tale Heart Analysis

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“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. This is when he decides to rid of this “vulture eye,” by murdering the old man. After finally finishing what he had set out to do, three policemen show up because of a complaint about a shriek. The narrator assures them that it was him that had shrieked because of a nightmare and asks the officers to sit with him. While talking with them, confident that they knew nothing, he starts to hear a noise increasingly get louder. He eventually cannot take it anymore and…show more content…
The characteristic form of the story is not confession but self-defense. It is an attempt to provide a rational reason for irrational events and behavior. In this story, there is quite a bit of dramatic immediacy of this defense. The narrator addresses an unnamed “you” and his aim is to disprove “you”‘s claim that he is insane, a charge that has apparently been both specific and formal enough for the narrator to feel it necessary to respond in detail. From the opening, “True!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” to the final breakdown, “and now-again!-hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!” The narration sounds more spoken than written, something like a courtroom outburst or a final statement from the accused”

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