Tell Tale Heart Essay

1499 words - 6 pages

In “Tell Tale Heart,” Edgar Allen Poe develops the plot and creates a mood through the use of metaphors, symbolism, imagery, and foreshadowing. The unique use of said literary devices enables the story to strongly entice the reader’s interest and spark high levels of curiosity. The vivid mental pieces of art are beautifully painted with metaphors, symbolism, and imagery, the tools mastered by the painter, Edgar Allen Poe.

The initial analysis will be that of the old man’s eye. Mr. Poe uses very descriptive technique to allow the reader to view the eye for themselves, there are no literal pictures within the pages of the story, the pictures are therefore seen mentally, and the description is one way that the author incorporates imagery into this story. The eye of this old man is described as that of a vulture’s, consisting of a blue coloring with a film over it. The narrator’s exact description goes as follows: “One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture – a pale blue eye with a film over it” (p. 1, Angus). With the use of this description, imagery has already taken place, and the use of this imagery connects to the symbolism of the eye. Normally if an individual were to possess such an eye, an observer would assume that the one with the ill eye has a medical condition, like a corneal ulcer. The film covering the eye is used symbolically showing the reader that the main character’s (narrator) perspective on things aren’t clear, things seem to be viewed in an obscured fashion. Likewise are things seen by the readers of this story, the wordplay that

manufactures the text of the literary work causes confusion at some point in the text, which in turn results the readers’ perceptions of the scenes to be foggy. Therefore by reading this story, the reader will have read through a hazy eye of their own which was installed by the process of trying to make sense of the text.

The previous paragraph explained the eye symbolizes misconception, but the structure of specific sentences implies that the eye can indeed see even the most hidden of things. After the main character dismembers the old man, he proceeds by removing three planks from the floor in order to store the corpse underneath the floor, and in conclusion to this horrid act he states “I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye – not even his – could have detected anything wrong” (p.4, Angus). Such a statement implies that not only does the eye capable of depleting vision and understanding, but the eye also has the ability to enhance perception and amplify vision as well.

The eye is the center, the main attraction if u will, of this story. It is no wonder as to why the eye symbolizes quite a handful of things. In addition to the symbols analyzed prior to this paragraph, the symbolism of control is also used with the eye. The eye displays the “power” of controlling the narrator’s fluctuation in body temperature which is a result of controlling the...

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