In “Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart,'” E. Arthur Robinson falsely proposes, “These two psychological themes – the indefinite extension of subjective time and the psychic merging of killer and killed – are linked closely together in the story” (259). The characters' senses are on high-alert in the darkness as the narrator gazes at the sleeping old man night after night, and the long-lasting periods of silence create a slow-motion effect. Even the narrator's physical movements are agonizingly slow and prolonged (Robinson 257-59). The beating of the tell-tale heart can be li...
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...imilar to how it is impossible for the narrator to leave the house in which his sin (the eye) resides.
When all parts of “The Tell-Tale Heart” are thoroughly analyzed, the murderer's true motivation becomes apparent, and the reader knows of his desire to destroy his own sin, which he sees in the eye of his old friend and living companion. Other theories regarding time and the combination of killer and victim into one can be overturned with evidence supporting the idea that the truth lies in the “Evil Eye” and the narrator's hatred of sin. Many aspects of the eye bear likeness to sin, and the narrator resembles the typical human nature. This unique view on the relationship of man and his own sin shown through the murderer and the “Evil Eye” is surely what allows the “Tell-Tale Heart” to be named “one of the most effective parables every conceived” (Ward 310).
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