Essay on The Tall-Tale Heart

1142 Words 5 Pages
It is one’ o clock in the morning; you are exhausted and all you wish to do is sleep. Finally, when you are able to relax, close your eyes and begin to nod off, you hear a loud creak in the floor and you suddenly wake up to bad thoughts of what this mysterious noise is. In “The Tall-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, various techniques are used to detail an old man’s uneasiness to the slightest of sounds at night as the narrator retells his murder of the old man. Since anyone in such situation would act similarly to the old man, his fear and anxiety is no surprise to the audience; however, with Poe’s use of figurative language, selection of details and diction the old man’s nervousness is aptly portrayed and characterized. The use of …show more content…
Both the simile and the personifications allow the reader to better understand the various factors affecting the apprehensive old man as Death mocks him with casting shadows and increasing anxiety causes his heart to pound out of his chest. The narrator tells us many details as they happen or as he notices them. Because of this, we are able to conclude and make inferences about how old man felt and in what state of mind he was in. The sound of the narrator slipping his thumb on the tin fastening causes the old man to wake up and sit on his bed for an hour, an example of how fearful the old man is (lines 4-7). The old man also groans a stifled groan. This minor detail of describing the groan as “stifled” implies, from the dictionary definition, that the old man has trouble breathing. Basically the line is saying the old man’s health was not in the best shape (line 10-4). Poe also notes that the old man’s blind eye, the thing that drives the narrator to kill the old man, is “wide open.” It is ironic that the old man’s eye could be opened very wide and is the only thing the narrator is able to see, and yet the man is still unable to see the narrator because the old man is blind (line 41-7). When the narrator kills the old man, the old man shrieks once, which implies that the narrator gave the old man no time to possibly defend himself. The narrator only needed to strike

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