Essay about The Tell-Tale Heart and Symbolism

1211 Words Mar 31st, 2002 5 Pages
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 symbolism to give it a more dramatic effect and add to the madness the narrator portrays. Poe's use of the point of view device is very evident in "The Tell-Tale Heart".
The madman that speaks through the entire story talks in an unreliable first person view.
Because of the man's obvious madness you are not sure what is taking place in the
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In another part of the story the narrator tries to explain what he says we see as his madness. "And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?" The resulting madness the narrator sees in the old mans heart is in his words just an extra sensitive hearing. That in his mind is what is wrong with everyone else's thinking but only he knows to be true. Symbolism is another literary device that Poe used strongly in "The Tell-Tale
Heart". In other Poe works like "The Raven", Poe uses one object and tries to play upon it the most of the plot in the story. The title of the story gives the reader the symbol from the beginning, as the heart. Although he uses the heart as a symbol, Poe also uses other symbolic representations too. From the beginning of the story, the narrator tries to describe his reasoning in killing the old man. "It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this!…Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees-very gradually-I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever."
The narrator clearly states

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