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My review of 'Tell Tale Heart' by Edgar Allen Poe

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Introduction

Harvey Middleweek GCSE English coursework Year 11W2S MY REVIEW OF 'TELL TALE HEART' BY EDGAR ALLEN POE In this essay I intend to discuss the overall theme of mankind's pre-disposition towards real evil and acts of evil, which appears to be the overriding subject matter of Poe's text, where we witness a carer of a blind man killing him and then speaking directly to us, the audience/reader, in an attempt to justify his actions and legitimate his non-madness, that ultimately becomes clearer to us is really insanity. I will refer directly to sections of the text to direct this analysis before drawing to an overall conclusion about how I experienced the book personally. The storyline in this book by Poe is narrated directly to the reader as audience by a nameless character, being the person who commits the act of murder. Although he seems at first to be quite normal and reasonable, as the book unfolds and his retelling of how he murders the old man for whom he is responsible for caring for, we see that he becomes more and more desperate and we realise that he is quite insane. ...read more.

Middle

coming from the floorboards and so can they, which makes him reveal what he has done to the police, who then obviously arrest him. This part of the text kind of reminded me of Lady Macbeth, in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' play, where she thought that her hands were still covered in blood and kept washing them, saying, "out damned spot" because in reality she could not rid herself of the guilt of the murder of King Duncan. Similarly, the man thinks he hears the heartbeat because he is feeling guilty of the old mans murder. His act of murder, although not premeditated, seems to be inevitable from his behaviour. For each night, at exactly midnight, he creeps into the old mans room and stands over him, just watching him, just checking that he is sleeping. To me, this part of the story appeared to show that this was the only time the crazy man felt he was in control over the old man. As for the rest of the time, he was obsessed that the old man's vulture like eye was following his every move, and I kind of felt that he felt trapped by it. ...read more.

Conclusion

By using the analogy of the ticking of a watch wrapped and muffled within cotton, yet the sound is still breaking through when it should not be, we can see that this is something unnatural that he is hearing and experiencing. Poe very successfully uses language and devices such as these to build on the interpersonal experiences for the reader, which I found very enjoyable. In short then, I would say that this was a good story to read. It is accessible both because it is a short story and therefore is not too time consuming in effort or energies, but it is written in an exciting and highly descriptive way, that clearly leaves a significant impression on the reader. The use of the main character as narrator of the events is also a clever device to use as it allows us to get right inside his head and understand his motives, all be they quite delusional, for the murder. It is the fact that we can understand why he did it, as awful as it was, that makes us wonder how close we may come to committing such an irrational act and that is why I really liked this story. WORD COUNT: 1432 1 ...read more.

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