The Tell-Tale Heart

Satisfactory Essays
Topics: Edgar Allan Poe
Krista Zeock
English 1302, section .002
Mrs. Dietiker
February 22, 2013
“The Tell-Tale Heart”

Quote of importance:

The following selection may be found in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” and is the focus of this reader-response paper: “It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. … I think it was his eye!” (42)

Importance to the element of plot:

This selection is important to the element of plot, specifically the rising action. Rising action is where the author builds interest and tension in the story, and that is exactly what this quote does. It entertains the reader while building suspense. The tension builds as the author explains his love for the man and the lack of object and passion in his actions. The part “I think it was his eye!” hints at the reasoning behind the narrator’s actions, while giving insight to how he truly feels about the old man. Parts of the quote are interesting in the way they are formatted; “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me.” The sentences are short, precise, attention-grabbing, and adhere to the point of the rising action, to build interest and tension.

Importance to the element of character:

This selection is especially important to the character of the narrator. The narrator’s psychology is, perhaps, the most important of all character elements, and is shown in this quote. The narrator openly admits to having no legitimate reasoning behind his actions and feelings towards the old man, yet he suggests that, “I think it was his eye!” justifies his actions. Psychological traits contain a number of aspects that make up a whole person; among these traits are thoughts, feelings, and habits. These traits are what dictate the decisions the character will make



Cited: Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Tell-Tale Heart" Backpack Literature.4th Eds. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2012. 41-46. Print.

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