A Guilty Conscience Shown in Edgar Allan Poe’s “the Tell-Tale Heart”

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Jessica Clark
Matthew Chase
English Comp 2 MWF 10:00AM
October 3rd, 2011
A Guilty Conscience Shown in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe is an intellectual murder story told from a first-person perspective of an eccentric narrator who kills a man because he is so frightened of the man’s eye. The mad narrator ultimately is unable to maintain his innocence to the deed. The narrator is obsesses with the vulture eye of the old man who he lives with. He describes the eye as "evil", like the eye of a vulture, "a pale blue eye, with a film over it." The narrator has a good relationship with the old man but decides that he must kill him in order to rid himself of the eye forever. During the events of the story it is obvious that the narrator is a man in fear of the evil eye with conscience eating away at him in the events of killing the old man. Even though the narrator focuses on the evil eye and tries to justify his actions, in the end he can't escape his own conscience. The narrator has a loving and friendly relationship with the old man. He states "I loved the old man." The old man had never wronged him nor insulted him and he had no desire for the old man's money. He says "For his gold I had no desire." The narrator is also sure to state to the readers that he was kind to the old man, "I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him." He was careful not to disturb the old man's sleep each of the seven nights that he watched him and every morning he "spoke courageously to him", "called him by name in a hearty tone", and "inquired how he had passed the night" before. The old man's evil eye seems to have power over the narrator. He states "I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture...Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold." For an unknown reason, the old man's evil eye has provoked insanity in the narrator though the narrator argues that he...
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