[2015] Alexis Romero: The Tell Tale Heart

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by msscoff
Last updated 5 years ago

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Language Arts
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[2015] Alexis Romero: The Tell Tale Heart

The story begins with the main character, stating that he is not mad. He continued to say that a madman would not kill like did. He had killed “the old man”, according to him, he had done it very cunningly. After a week, the main character sneaked into the old man’s room with only one purpose, to kill him. He entered extremely quietly and then lunged to attack the old man with a yell. He proceeded to suffocate him with the bed and then cut off his head and limbs to store him beneath the floor. When he was done getting rid of the body, he heard a knock on the door. It was two policemen who had been told that a shriek had been heard from his house and had to search his house. The main character starts talking calmly, but he then starts “hearing the old man’s heartbeat” and can no longer keep the secret.

The story is told from first person point of view due to the fact that the narrator used I and me pronouns. You could tell the story was first person from the first sentence, “...very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?”. I think that the story was very interesting from this point of view because we got to see inside the murderer’s head. I think the author also believed that being inside the head of a, maybe insane, murderer would be interesting and unique.

The theme of The Tell Tale Heart is “Humans cannot handle guilt’. After killing the old man, the main character believed he could hide the secret from the two cops that knocked on his door. After a while, however it is evident that he cannot keep the secret and is consumed by his guilt. The theme applies to the people who also “get consumed by guilt” and can’t keep a secret.

Point of View

Theme

The Tell Tale Heart

Plot/Main Conflict

The main character from the beginning sounds like he tries to convince you that he is not mad, obviously, no sane man will try to tell you that he isn’t insane. The first, and not the last time, that the narrator talks about not being crazy is when he says, “You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work!”. After reading that, you can tell that the main character isn’t exactly sane, or he might have a mental disorder. I was led to believe that the main character had a mental disorder by him talking about how the old man’s evil eye, “For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. 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 forever.”. The narrator never really talks about himself in the story, he doesn’t describe any physical qualities or mental qualities. That being said, I had to make some assumptions about the main character.

Main Characters

The mood of the story is clearly dark and frightening. The narrator speaks as if he is a madman and that really adds to the mood of the story. Even the first paragraph shows that the mood will be dark, “I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.” The main reason the dark mood is present is due to the fact that the main character killed a man.

Mood

“The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Lottery” both have very dark, goth moods and have something to do with death. The two stories, however are told from different point of views; “The Tell Tale Heart” is told from first person point of view and “The Lottery” is told from third person omniscient. The two stories have a great difference in the number of characters. “The Tell Tale Heart” only has two main characters and two side characters, while “The Lottery” has a town full of people. The two stories have quite a few differences, but content and story wise, they are pretty similar.

Compare & Contrast


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