Essay Example on The mysterious and eerie story of The Tell Tale Heart

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The mysterious and eerie story of The Tell Tale Heart was written by famous author Edgar Allan Poe in 1843 At the start of the story the narrator confesses to the reader that he is a very dreadfully nervous type Ironically he claims he enjoyed the old man s presence however his disturbed mind made him madly obsessed with the old man's eye Rather than focusing on the old man s personality he was fixated on the man s frightening eye The thought of the eye became a psychotic obsession in the narrator's tormented mind leading him to taking the old man s life in order to rid himself of the fixation The major portrayed theme of this story describes that guilt drives people insane

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After the tragic murder of the old man the narrator slowly develops a guilt that culminates into a crippling madness Despite his perceived confidence in the audacity of his perfect triumph and his precision to place his chair over the location where he had hidden the body the narrator begins to become nervous Suddenly he starts to hear a faint noise which is later described as similar to the sound that a watch makes when enveloped in cotton Initially the narrator perceived the noise as a peculiar ringing in his ears However the noise was soon amplified by a thumping sound The narrator began to believe that he was hearing the beating of the old man s heart During this time police officials were questioning the narrator about some shrieks that were heard in the area Becoming increasingly anxious over the sound of the loud beating the narrator began to act erratically and eventually admitted to murdering the old man Poe depicts the development of the narrator s guilt over murdering the old man in order to express the potential consequences of committing an unethical action

Following his admission it can be assumed by the reader that the narrator was actually hearing the sound of his own heartbeat However his remorse and anxiety caused him to believe that it was the heartbeat of the old man Throughout the story Poe utilizes introspective dialogue to portray the man s mental state The narrator often attempts to convince the reader that he is not insane So you think that I am mad A madman cannot plan Poe implemented short asides such as the aforementioned one in order to show that the narrator was attempting to find a way to justify his action s As opposed to recognizing the possibility of having a mental illness the narrator merely shirks off the notion that he is mad Rather he attempts to describe his precision and planning which results in a delayed not immediate feeling of remorse Therefore it can be assumed that during the process of the murder the narrator was confident in his decision however he neglected to recognize the potential guilt that could arise Prior to the murder of the old man the narrator s perception of the old man s blind eye is warped and metaphorically compared to that of a vulture In an aside the narrator stated he had the eye of a vulture a pale blue eye with a transparent 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 implements this metaphor as an attempt to explain to the reader that the narrator perceived the eye as evil an omen As opposed to attempting to rationalize his perception of the eye the narrator merely concludes that it must be eliminated from his life Therefore Poe connects back to the theme by depicting how the narrator s refusal to recognize his own mental illness resulted in his decision to murder the old man and then subsequently caused the development of his guilt Toward the conclusion of the tale the narrator becomes increasingly fixated on his perception of what he believes to be a sound coming from the beating of the murdered old man s heart The narrator foamed and raved at the increasing amplified sound Poe uses this diction to depict the worsening mental of the narrator Additionally the two words are fitting because they could easily be applied to a person or creature suffering from some type of inner distress Therefore Poe s usage of diction furthers his theme by showing how the guilt of the narrator eventually resulted in a state of absolute insanity Edgar Allen Poe s depiction of the narrator in Tell Tale Heart is quite representative of his morose plot style and extreme characterizations

Through the usage of mental illness within his characters Poe attempts to show how disregarding one's mental state can result in life altering conflicts Furthering the potential ramifications of these conflicts Poe also recognizes that mental instability can become even more prevalent during times of heightened anxiety and paranoia Within Tell Tale Heart this instability becomes increasingly visible by the narrator s gradual mental degradation which is furthered by his growing remorse

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