Symbols and Conflict in Tell Tale Heart

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Eye Pages: 3 (1024 words) Published: April 6, 2013
Father Son Incest
In “The Tale Tell Heart.” Edgar Allen Poe tells a story of murder. A no named narrator begins a tale of the murder of an old man. The narrator claims the murder is for the destruction of the eye with cataract. The narrator starts stalking the old man while he sleeps and ultimately murders the old man and buries him in his bedroom. A neighbor hears the old man scream and calls the police. When the policemen show up, the narrator shows them around the house and lets them rest in the old man's bedroom. The narrator begins to hear what he thinks is the old man's heartbeat and later confess the crime. Alice Sebold said, “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.” Although, the old man's life was taken, the narrator saves himself. The narrator is a victim of father son incest. Symbols and conflict identify the narrator as the victim of father son incest. First, the treatment of the old man is symbolic to the narrator's incest. Throughout, the story the narrator treats the old man as the narrator was treated many years ago. The character explains how at night time he carefully thrusts his head into the door and watches the old man. This passage is a direct reflection of how the narrator stalks the old man while he sleeps. The night the murder takes place the narrator wakes the old man and scares him. The narrator later explains this is a feeling he has felt and he is glad the old man feels scared. The reader can conclude that the old man has scared the narrator. The narrator is satisfied with making the old man scared. He wants the old man to feel as he did before the molestation. The narrator uses his head to invade the old man's personal space as the old man has done to him. The narrator drags the old man out of bed and then puts the bed on top of him before he murders the old man. This suggest the narrator does this because it is in the bed that the molestation occurs. Therefore taking the old man out of the bed is the narrators way of getting rid...
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