[2015] Reona Islam: The Tell-Tale Heart

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by msscoff
Last updated 6 years ago

Language Arts

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[2015] Reona Islam: The Tell-Tale Heart

The main characters of this short story are the unnamed individual who serves as the narrator and the old man who is the narrator’s victim. Based on the narration and the choice of words in the story, the main character is not sane and has some sort of mental issue. In the story, the character says, ¨You cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye,¨ he seems very confident about his acts. Based on the narrator’s description, the old man did no wrong and was only killed for the ¨vulture eye¨ he had, as it made the narrator’s ¨blood run cold.¨

This short story is about a certain unnamed individual who describes his murder of an old man for his vulgar eye. He struggles after the man is dead and his body is hid when police officers come over to questions him. The main conflict is implied that it is with himself; an internal conflict. He has to come to terms with what he did as a character who doesn’t seem to be sane.

The Plot and Main Conflict

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Characters

The moods of the story include suspense, psychological terror, horror, and paranoia. We can tell this because of the build up to the main character’s confession. The main character thinks, ¨It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!¨ This eventually leads up to the moment of his admittance, leaving us with suspense; waiting for what would happen next.


One of the themes of this story is the effects of conscious and guilt and how we can become made because of this. Our guilt would eventually overcome us if we did something bad and we would have to confess. The narrator did this by hallucinating the beat of a heart, which was actually just his consciousness toying with his mind. We see this when the narrator thinks, ¨But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted.¨ We see that the narrator is becoming conscious of what he did and becomes worried.

This story is written in first person point of view; the main character narrates the story in his own words. I believe the author did it in this way to show readers how this character really thinks and how insane he is. The narrator says, ¨The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am.¨ This viewpoints create for an unreliable narrator, as this creates an effect to the story that makes it all the more intense.


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