Edgar Allan Poe’sThe Tell-Tale Heart

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Edgar Allan Poe’sThe Tell-Tale Heart

Category: Analytical Essay

Subcategory: Classic English Literature

Level: High School

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Analytical Essay on The Tell-Tale Heart
Allan Poe develops the themes of the effects of guilt and paranoia and madness in this short story. After killing the old man with an evil eye, the narrator is consumed with feelings of guilt. In the beginning, he shows an outward pride because he believes he has gotten away with the murder. Eventually, he loses his cool, and his guilt gets the better part of him. His paranoia makes him imagine sounds. “My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears” (Poe, 3). Later on, he starts to act crazy and violent which prove his insanity. He even confesses to the murder to free his mind.
Allan uses both a sad and a nervous tone in the story. Although he is a murderer, we cannot help but pity him because of the mental breakdown he experiences. The edgy tone helps the reader to understand the narrator’s state of mind. In my opinion, the author’s purpose was to convince the reader of the murderer’s sanity by giving a vivid description of the murder. He shows us that although they did not hate each other, the crime was planned and calculated.
The dominant symbol in the story is the beating heart that symbolizes the narrator’s conscience and the subconscious guilt that led him to confess. It begins to beat after the crime and gets louder as he denies the crime. The story was set around the time it was published in 1843. It happens in three locations; the scene of the murder, where the narrator was p…

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