This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Gotic Themes In Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart"

1347 words - 5 pages

In "The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe revolves the story around a raving individual and the object in which he obsesses over. This theme of insanity is progressed throughout the entire story by Poe's style of gothic writing. Gothic-style writing is defined by using these elements: abnormal psychological behavior, creating a gloomy or threatening atmosphere, connections between the setting and its characters' thought processes or behavior, and supernatural components. Poe's usage of these gothic elements builds up the central theme in the "The Tell-Tale Heart."Poe's major element of gothic literature, which establishes the main theme of insanity, is the use of abnormal psychological behavior. The narrator proves his insanity at the very beginning by ranting about his nervousness and states his fear that the reader will assume he is mad, "How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily--how calmly I can tell you the whole story," (The Gold-Bug and other tales*, pg. 74). The mere fact that he is afraid of being thought of as a madman does not prove that his psyche is abnormal. Poe manifests the narrator's insanity by having him state that his preconceived murder has no purpose, "It haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none," (GB, pg. 74). The reader can see the narrator's madness again after he divulges his plan to the reader, stating, "Ha!--would a madman have been so wise as this?" (GB, pg. 74). Eventually the narrator's mind gets the best of him and he kills the old man, but afterwards, his attitude is down right odd and sadistic, "In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done," (GB, pg. 76). By having the narrator smile after killing the old man, Poe creates a picture of a raving lunatic in the readers' mind. As the plot heightens, so does the narrator's dementia. Police officers arrive at the narrator's home shortly after he has finished disposing of the body. Feeling supercilious, the narrator invites them in to chat; sitting directly over the old man's dismembered body. Hearing what he thinks to be the old man's heartbeat, the narrator's nervousness grows while he is chatting with the police officers. Poe, once again, show's us the narrator's insanity through his resulting actions, "I foamed--I raved--I swore! I swung my chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards," (GB, pg. 77). The reader can really see the climax of the narrator's abnormal psyche when he actually thinks that the police officers can hear the beating heart too, "They heard!--they suspected!--they knew!--they were making a mockery of my horror!" (GB, pg. 78).In "The Tell-Tale Heart" Poe creates this kind of dismal and frightening atmosphere that is traditional to gothic style writing. By choosing dark or depressing words, Poe creates a dreary mood for the reader. This mood then reflects upon the characters' thinking in the story. The...

Find Another Essay On Gotic Themes in Edgar Allen Poe's "the tell-tale Heart"

Symbolism in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

1170 words - 5 pages Symbolism in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe Like many of Edgar Allen Poe's works, 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is full of death and darkness. Poe used many of the real life tragedies he experienced as inspiration for his gothic style of writing. Poe dealt with many aspects of death and madness in his stories, madness again is playing a key role in the plot. In this short story Poe used literary devices such as point of view and

Insanity in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

1321 words - 5 pages Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart" is a short story about how a murderer's conscience overtakes him and whether the narrator is insane or if he suffers from over acuteness of the senses. Poe suggests the narrator is insane by the narrator's claims of sanity, the narrator's actions bring out the narrative irony of the story, and the narrator is insane according to the definition of insanity as it applies to "The Tell Tale Heart

Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado

1647 words - 7 pages Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Black Cat,' 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and 'The Cask of Amontillado' In each of Edgar Allen Poe's stories of murder and madness, he takes us inside the mind of the murderer from the time he begins until after the deed has been done. Poe gives us a point of view not common in works of horror and suspense: the killers. We read the thoughts and follow the actions of the killer as he plots and follows through with his

Gothic Literature in America. Looks specifically at Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart

1259 words - 5 pages unexplainable events. Supernatural and unexplainable events are very important to the plot of a gothic story. Often, they act as the backbone of the plot and much of the story rests upon them. In Edgar Allen Poe's work, they act as the coincidence drivers as well as supply some of the omens and visions, another element of gothic literature. Without the element of supernatural and unexplainable events, much of the gothic literature would not stand on

Conflicts of a Madman in Poe's "A Tell-Tale Heart" Edgar Allen Poe

1461 words - 6 pages When we try to define human nature, we must consider the balance of both good and evil or light and dark. Many times these qualities exist simultaneously and maintain a balance, but sometimes this stability is lost and the "darker side" surfaces. Have you ever wondered what it takes to push someone over the edge? In Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator posses four qualities of mental instability that seem to contribute to his

Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart and the Symbolism of the Eye

1242 words - 5 pages Edgar Allen Poe is the genius responsible for dark, twisting, and often uncomfortably wondrous gothic tales, and one of the best is 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' This is a classic tale of a confused man who is so incredibly bothered by his housemate's eye, that he (I am assuming this sexless character is male) thinks the only solution is to resort to cold-blooded murder. Poe incorporates the symbol of the old man's eye in 'The Tell-Tale Heart,' which

Contradictions on the "Tell-Tale Heart' by Edgar Allen Poe

1071 words - 4 pages the old man's eye in a higher position than that of a normal human eye. Even the emphasis on the word "his" through the means of italics says that the narrator is saying that the eye holds power.Irrational human drives such as obsession, paranoia, the desire to destroy and other mental psychoses such as these cannot be rationally explained. It is quite complicated and even an in depth analysis of these themes is close to impossible. One cannot

Tension in Edgar Allen Poe´s The Tell Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado

1003 words - 5 pages Tension is a commonly used tool to hook and grasp the readers’ attention, by using conflict to raise the emotional intensity to a maximum. Edgar Allen Poe’s display of tension can be identified in two of his gothic fiction works, The Tell Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado. Both stories are confessions of a murder told in first person. The Tell Tale Heart is regarding a man killing an old man simply because of a vulgar eye, without any

The Murderer's Motivation Depicted in Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

1864 words - 7 pages aggravation of eternal time or psychological similarities with the old man prompted the narrator to his crime. However, it is not the theme of time or unity with the old man that drives the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” to murder, but the representation of his own sin within the “Evil Eye.” In “Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart,'” E. Arthur Robinson falsely proposes, “These two psychological themes – the indefinite extension of subjective time and the

Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart and The Masque of the Red Death

2457 words - 10 pages on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at a young age of forty. To Hopkins 2 this day, Poe is widely considered one of the greatest poets of the century. All of the events that took place in his life influenced his writing. (Pritchard) The two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Masque of the Red Death,” both share a similar tone, but they occur in very different ways. As it happens in both stories, death occurs. In “The Tell

The Tell-Tale Heart and the Similarities With Edgar Allen Poe

1228 words - 5 pages left. The narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart struggled adjacently to his creator in the same twisted worlds they were desperately trying to escape: their own minds. The similarities are visible in the conscious and subconscious decision making processes of the two men. Poor emotional regulation was a constant topic of discussion and cause of drama in the works of Poe. Although it is cleverly disguised throughout his writing, Edgar Allan Poe projected a

Similar Essays

Creating Suspense In Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell Tale Heart

2135 words - 9 pages Creating Suspense in Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart In the gothic genre there are numerous techniques the author can use to add interest and suspense to a story, such as the choice of words, the time of day and pathetic fallacy, to name but a few. In the Tell Tale- Heart Poe uses psychosis, detail, and appeal to the reader to keep us on the edge of our seats. These are just some examples of what makes the story so thrilling

Control Or Insanity In Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart"

741 words - 3 pages Control or Insanity in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart".Poe weld's the full moon at midnight, like a beacon enlightening the truth that lies in the knowledge that madness is created by ones own inability to handle ones reality. When we try to define human nature, we must consider the balance of both good and evil. Many times these qualities exist simultaneously and maintain a balance, but sometimes this stability is lost and the evil side

Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart

2123 words - 8 pages Edgar Allen Poe has explored three different themes: His own life, the nameless narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and the literary criticism on “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Edgar Allen Poe began his life in Boston, MA on the 19th of January in the year 1809 (Kennedy). He was the 2nd son of David Poe, Jr., a famous actor, and the actress known as Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe. David, his father, deserted his family a year after Poe was born, and

Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart

1632 words - 7 pages A Tell-Tale Spirit In 1843, author Edgar Allan Poe crafted a haunting story about a man who commits murder because he finds an old mans’ pale eye unsettling. This story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, is one of many masterfully written stories crafted by the gifted writer. Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19th, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts but was orphaned at the young age of three. His foster parents surrounded him with material comfort in