The Tell Tale Heart

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Hearing, Sense Pages: 3 (1043 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Edgar Allan Poe, whose personal torment so powerfully informed his visionary prose and poetry, is a towering figure in the history of American literature. A Virginia gentleman and the son of itinerant actors, the heir to great fortune and a disinherited outcast, a university man who had failed to graduate, a soldier brought out of the army, a husband with an unapproachable child-bride, a brilliant editor and low salaried hack, a world renowned but impoverish author, a temperate man and uncontrollable alcoholic, a materialist who yearned for a final union with God. His fevered imagination brought him to great heights of creativity and the depths of paranoiac despair. Yet although he produced a relatively small volume of work, he virtually invented the horror and detective genres and his literary legacy endures to this day.

In the Tell Tale Heart the main character, the narrator, has a problem with an old man, the antagonist, whom he is living with. The odd thing is that the problem has nothing to do with old man, how he acts, or even his attitude towards the narrator. It is simply one of the old man's eyes which is blind or he can't see a hundred percent in one eye. The narrator's description of the eye is that it resembled that of a vulture, pale blue with a film over it. When the narrator looked at it, it caused his blood to run cold. This drove him crazy and caused him to kill the old man

He begins to believe that he is hearing the old man's heart beating, while he was killing him and after he is dead. The pounding becomes louder and louder, and drives him crazy. It forces him to tell the police officers, who are searching his house, that he killed the old man and showed them were the body is buried, which is the most ironic and the last thing you would think to happen. The irony comes into play when his heightened sense of hearing and sober madness is the cause of his downfall. How ironic, the same craze that led him to kill the man is the same craze...
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