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Theme Of Suspense In The Tell Tale Heart

Good Essays
“I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead.” (The Tell-Tale Heart, lines 125-126.) This may sound strange or even frightening to some people, but for the readers of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, this is simply just another element of horror. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator is a madman who hates an old man’s “vulture eye” so much that he murders the old man because of it. The story is so horrifying because of the use of suspense, the source of the horror and the fact that some of the events are believable. Suspense is a crucial literary element in a horror story. Every horror fan is familiar with suspense. Suspense is used to keep the reader on edge am it makes them want to…show more content…
In The Tell-Tale Heart, almost all of the events could happen in real life. For instance, in page 89, line 13, the text states, “He had the eye of a vulture - a pale blue eye with a film over it. Even though this isn’t frightening, it is still perturbing. The imagery is so graphic that it sends a chill down the spine. Worst of all, this can happen in real life- and it does. Cataracts are a common thing for elderly people. Another example of realistic events is in page 93, lines 133-134, the text states, “First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and legs.” As much as the audience wants to deny it, this could happen in real life. The thought of this is just downright abhorrent. Lastly, in page 94, lines 192-194, the narrator yells, “‘Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed - tear up the planks! -here, here! -it is the beating of his hideous heart!’” The narrator’s final descent into madness is the most terrifying part of the text, mainly because this can happen in real life. Mental disorders and diseases are a very real thing and it is very possible that what happened to the narrator could happen to anyone with the same or a similar disease as him. It is clear to the readers that Edgar Allen Poe used realistic events to increase the horror in The Tell-Tale