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Tell Tale Heart

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How does Poe show us the madness of the narrator in the story? "The Tell Tale Heart" is typical of the gothic genre in the way that the main character who seems to be a polite, normal gentleman on the outside is quite brutal, vicious and insane on the inside. Right from the start of the story we interrupt the narrator in 'Media Res' which means in the middle of something, we get the feeling there is something wrong with the narrator from the way he speaks. He doesn't tell us who he's speaking to in this sentence, he could be talking to a cell mate in prison but we get the feeling he is talking to us and. This gives you an eerie feeling you a part of the story. He says "The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them" he says it like his illness has something to do with senses and the way it had affected them but really it's his obsession for the eye. He tells us "I heard all things in heaven and earth and many things in hell," we get the feeling from this that he is insane as no one can hear things in Heaven or Hell. ...read more.


He savours everything he is doing and it seams like he enjoys doing this. The narrator tells us that the morning after he "boldly" goes into the old man's room and "courageously" speaks to him. He thinks he is like a god for doing this, like he is incredibly brave as if he's in some terrible danger by talking to the man. Talking about what he's doing like it was soldier's work, just by facing the old man. Throughout the story the narrator repeats words to himself like "all in vain. ALL IN VAIN" This could be interpreted as someone who has lost their mind and is repeating things to reassure themselves but it also emphasizes all the boasting he as done. Again, the narrator asks us a question, "do you mark me well?" he asks if we are listening as he possibly thinks the next part is very important, and by asking us another question we get the eerie feeling once more. On the 8th night when he finally enters the room, he tells us he takes even longer than usual to open the door and watch the old man. ...read more.


He then becomes very paranoid; he starts to pant and gasp for breath because he thinks that the police are onto him, despite them not having a clue about the noise he is hearing. He curses to the sound of the imaginary heart and is convinced the police are laughing at him as he curses and tries to get rid of the noise this suggests that he is going completely mad from guilt as the police continue to talk normally and pay no real attention to any apparent noise. He says "here, here! - it is the beating of his hideous heart!" even when he admits to killing the man he sees no wrong in what he has done. He doesn't blame is own guilt for the noise but instead blames it all on the sound of the old man's heart. To summarize, the story is about a very insane man who thinks he is completely sane which is typical of the gothic genre. He kills a helpless old man because of an irrational fear towards his strange eye. He goes about everything he does in a very calm and formal way when it's really a very brutal act which is shocking to everyone who reads it. ...read more.

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