“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a brief narrative written by Edgar Allan Poe, an American writer, first published in 1843. An unnamed relator describes the story, who embarks on convincing the readers about his lucidity while simultaneously unfolding the murder he committed. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator is damaged, and it is hard for the reader not to sympathize with him (Studniarz, 2021). Different character traits are revealed through the main character’s subconscious rumbles, such as he is insane and a murderer.
The character in the story is paranoid, nervous, mentally, and physically ill. The storyteller is not aware of the variation between “unreal” and “real” and appears to be completely friendless and alone in the universe (Jweid, 2021). The narrator wants the reader to understand what he did since he is haunted by guilt but does not indicate where to find him (the narrator). It is also important to clarify that Poe does not tell whether the narrator is a female or a male. What makes a reader comfortably refer to the relator as a he is through the lines: “You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing” (Poe, 2020, p. 1). The lines give a hint of the gender of the narrator, although it is not a hundred percent proof.
The narrator is insane since he contemplates killing the old man by claiming he has an evil eye. The only way the relator seems fit to escape the old man’s evil eye is by killing him, which he eventually does (Studniarz, 2021). Another thing that questions the narrator’s sanity is that he had to stalk the victim for eight nights before killing him and enjoys killing him. The speaker’s joy is depicted through the line: “I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph” (Poe, 2020, p. 2). The line shows how he was pleased with himself after accomplishing his mission.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” is an exhilarating horror brief story through which Edgar Poe narrates the ordeals of a murderer. The main character in the story is a mad man. Yet, he tells how he killed another man simply because he thought the victim had an evil eye. Through the story, it is clear that the speaker is compelled by guilt to confess what he did with the hope of cure or redemption to what he views as a physical disease.
Jweid, A. (2020). Fear Mechanism in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. Studies in Literature and Language, 21(2), 12-18. Web.
Poe, E. (2020). Tell-Tale Heart (8th ed., pp. 1-2). SAGA Egmont.
Studniarz, S. (2021). The method in the madness: “The Tell-Tale Heart” and the horror of the human condition. Poe Studies, 54, 107-126. Web.