Essay on The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe And A Rose For Emily

Essay on The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe And A Rose For Emily

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In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner both main characters are portrayed as irrational and are isolated from reality. The narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” murders an elderly man, as he is fearful of the man’s eye. Emily Grierson in “A Rose for Emily” lives secluded from society, until she marries a man, Homer. She ultimately kills Homer in his bed and leaves his body to decompose for many years. Both the narrator in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Emily Grierson in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” deny reality so vehemently that they isolate themselves from reality. Their isolation and denial of reality cause both to commit murder.
The narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” murders an elderly man because he is fearful of the man’s “evil eye.” “He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever” (Poe 37). The narrator explains that he is haunted by the man’s eye and the only way to free him of the eye is to kill the man. He later describes how he watched the man each night for seven nights, however he cannot kill him as his “: evil eye” is not open. On the eighth night, the man’s eye opens when he hears a creak the narrator caused. The narrator then leaps onto the man and kills him. This is a demonstration of the narrator’s insanity, as the single thing that irritates the narrator is the man’s eye; no other provocation occurred. “Object there was none. Passion there was none…He had never wronged me.
The author portrays the narrator as divorced from reality. Throughout the story, the na...


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...n years.) ‘I have no taxes in Jefferson. Tobe!’ The Negro appeared. ‘Show these gentlemen out.’ (Faulkner 31)” She believes that she is responsible for no taxes, as the Colonel stated that her father had lent money to the town years ago; however the townspeople still arrive at her home to collect the taxes. She tells them to ask the Colonel, though he has been dead for almost ten years. She refuses to acknowledge the reality around her.
An ironic similarity between the narrator and Miss Emily is that both commit murder and then store the corpse in the home where the murder occurs. The narrator takes up floorboards and hides the dead body underneath. “I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye- not even his- could have detected anything wrong” (Poe 39). Miss Emily murders Homer with arsenic, then saves the decaying corpse in his bedroom.

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