Tell-Tale Heart Symbolism

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Symbol Pages: 4 (1634 words) Published: April 2, 2014
Adding Layers and Depth Through Symbolism
Stories without meaning are empty and have no depth within them. Stories must involve a point, whether it is hidden or not, to have any effect on a reader. Well written stories leave the audience with numerous ways to contemplate about the overall meaning of the piece. One of the best techniques an author can use to achieve this effect on their readers is the use of symbolism; symbols add depth and layers of meaning to a work. Edgar Allan Poe is a perfect example of how an author can use symbols can enhance a story. Poe uses symbols to further create a feeling of horror and enhance the gothic style that appears in his writing. He takes ordinary everyday objects and puts these hidden meanings behind them that can be interpreted in so many different ways, but every interpretation results in added depth in his stories. In Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” he includes a multitude of symbols that add layers of meaning and keep the reader off balance until the very end.

Things are not always as they seem, Edgar Allan Poe has hidden symbols that really need to be thought about to even be considered. Two of Poe’s hidden symbols in his “The Tell-Tale Heart” are the idea of home and the darkness of the old man’s room. Typically, home is where one is safe and does not have to worry; however, when it comes to the old man feeling this way it is with pure ignorance because he has no idea that the place he feels the safest, is the place that danger is closest to him. The narrator is plotting to kill the old man because of his eye, which for some reason bothers the narrator extremely, and the old man is not the wiser and trusts the narrator. When home usually implies security, in this story, it involves danger. The symbol of home could even be taken as how people within one’s place called home are trusted; home is where one is most comfortable and at peace so trust to those around them comes with ease. The darkness of the old...

Cited: Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Literature: Reading Reacting Writing, 8th ed. Eds. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: WADSWORTH Cengage Learning, 2013. 670 – 673. Print.
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