Practice Essay The Tell Tale Heart

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Short story Pages: 1 (742 words) Published: March 31, 2015
Practice Essay
In Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ an interesting character was the unnamed narrator. He was an interesting character because he demonstrated the important theme of guilt in the short-story. This is shown in a variety of ways, including the language techniques used and the narrator’s actions in response to the feeling of guilt.

The unnamed narrator is shown as a vague, two-dimensional character. Poe does not give the reader detailed characteristics of him, but it is clear that the narrator suffers from a mental-illness. The narrator makes no attempt to persuade the reader of his innocence, but rather the sanity of himself. He is portrayed in ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ as cautious and methodical, always careful to not wake the old man from his sleep. “…so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed.” This displays the vigilance and alertness of the narrator and how he is paranoid of being caught.

An interesting character in ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ was the narrator because he demonstrated the significant theme of guilt through his actions in the response to his guiltiness. His display of guilt is shown particularly towards the end of the story where his sense of hearing steadily increases as the police continue to chat. His heightened sense demonstrates the typical effects that guilt has on oneself, including the narrator. The noise continues the increase as the narrator spoke to the officers more quickly and more fluently with a heightened voice. This shows the classic behaviour of a guilty person. Furthermore, some of the narrator’s actions illustrate some of the consequences of committing a crime and how his guilt is manifested through the distinct beating of the old man’s heart. “I foamed - - I raved - - I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and...
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