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The Tell Tale Heart Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

In the baffling tales of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “A Rose for Emily,” and “My Last Duchess,” the narrators give in-depth descriptions about the characters and their surroundings. The central theme in these tales comes frightfully alive early on in the stories, but still manages to produce a dramatic ending in every tale. In each of these three first-person narratives, the narrator’s motivation to tell the tale influences the credibility of the story, which makes the narrator’s point of view, credibility, and motives, surreal to the reader.
In the heart-pounding tale “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator leaves no time to get to know the two characters but begins the story by planning the death of the old man’s eye. The narrator’s first person point of view is he is not mad with a disease, but that his disease was a gift. The narrator believes his disease is making heaven and hell call out to him, showing he is unstable early on in this tale (Poe 37). The narrator’s first person point of view throughout this tale is extremely unhealthy and strange. Being told from an “I” point of view leaves out some minor and significant details. The narrator never discusses how the relationship evolved between himself and the old man, which is usually something a narratee would like to know. Without knowing specific details about characters in the story, it leaves the narratee to wonder if the narrator is a friend, a roommate, or a caregiver to the old man. What the narratee does know is that the old man’s eye is repulsive and evil, but the narrator claims to love the old man (37). The narrator proclaims that the old man never wronged him, that “he had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this!” (37). Being convinced that he is not mad, the narrator proceeds to get rid of the repulsive eye and quickly grasps the narratees attention by saying, “You should have seen how wisely I proceeded - with what caution - with what foresight - with what dissimulation I went to work” to remove the eye (37). On the eighth night, the narrator loses his so-called insanity and goes in to kill the man. The way the narrator describes the events leading up to the murder of the eye and concealment of the body is precise and sly. The dramatic irony at the end of the tale describes just how delusional the narrator is; his guilt was making “a mockery” of him. Hearing the heart beating in a ringing tone, louder and louder, he shirked “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! - here, here! - it is the beating of his hideous heart!” (40). The narrator hears the heart of the old man at the end of the tale in his head, showing the credibility of the tale and the characteristics of the character. The ending of the story merely describes in one sentence that maybe now he knows he has a disease for the worse.
The first person point of view is not always told from an “I” point of view, but can also be told as...

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