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The old man, eye, and the narrator, I, may be the same person; and the story represents the inner turmoil ending with severing head from heart. (Pitcher 232)
Pritchard, from a somewhat feminist point of view, interprets the monologue as sexual in nature just before the murder. She points to the narrator’s love/hate relationship with the victim characterizing the behavior as sadist. Pritchard relates the narrator’s mental state to that of Poe’s dark imagination. This connection is controversial in these articles, and this author’s view is a valuable counter to others. The source is valuable, and the journal is peer reviewed and reliable.
A caretaker finds he is cursed by an evil eye belonging to a beloved old man. The eye “vexes” him. (Poe 193) The caretaker/narrator kills the old man in order to “silence” the eye. The caretaker keeps hearing the beating of the heart, driving him to confession.
The reader is left to decipher whether the narrators hearing acuity is a delusion or is the sound a hallucination. (Reilly 1969) During the murder, they each screamed once. The narrator hears the heartbeat muffled by the bed, but rationalizes the neighbors can’t hear it. The neighbors could hear screams, but not heartbeats. Knowing this, the reader cannot disengage from the monologue. The reader is trapped like the narrator. Poe uses these devices brilliantly to place the audience in the insane mind of a killer.
An overview of Poe’s fascination with the “evil eye” across his stories and specifically in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Other Southern writers and literature is examined regarding the eye. The narrator, of whom the reader knows nothing (sex, age, relationship to the old man) admits to loving the old man, but hating his eye.
Narration is broken down as forensic oratory, a defense rather than a confession. The narrator
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The first section refers primarily to literary concerns, focusing only on the writings of Dickens himself. The fourth section is also primarily literary, but compares and contrasts the writings of Dickens with those of his Victorian contemporaries. The second section refers to research on gender and class roles, and political commentary, as they appear in Dickens' works.
The narrator in Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" reveals absolutely no interest in proving his innocence of the murder of the old man, but rather is obsessed with proving his sanity. Every aspect of the story he relates about how he came to commit heinous murder fulfills the traditional literary definition of irony because while the intent is to prove his sanity what he ultimately accomplishes is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is clearly insane.
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