The Tell Tale Heart

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Unreliable narrator Pages: 4 (1701 words) Published: September 29, 2008
In the “Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator is extremely uncanny due to the reader’s inability to trust him. Right from the beggining the reader can tell that the narrator is crazy although the narrator does proclaim that he is sane, the reader obviously tell that the narrator is crazy. Since a person cannot trust a crazy person, the narrator himself is unreliable and therefore uncanny. Also as the story progress the narrator falls deeper and deeper into lunacy making him more and more unreliable, until the end of the story where the narrator gives in to his insanity, and the reader loses all ability to believe him.

In the first lines of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the reader can tell that narrator is crazy, however the narrator claims the he is not crazy and is very much sane, because how could a crazy person come up with such a good plan. “How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observer how healthily – how calmly I can tell you the whole story,” (Poe 74). The reader can see from this quote that narrator is claiming that he is not insane because he can tell anyone what happened without having a mental breakdown or any other problems that people associate with crazy people. This is the begging of the unreliability of the narrator. Here the reader is merely questioning the amount of details. The narrator then goes on to explain how he didn’t hate the old man but he hated his eye.

Upon reading a little bit into the story the reader finds that the narrator likes the old man or rather doesn’t having anything against him, except for his eye. The pale blue eye was the focus point for his rage he hates but not the old man. How can anyone just hate someone’s eye without being mentally unstable? “I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that 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...
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