Diction In Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

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In the “Tell-Tale Heart”, by Edgar Allen Poe, the cocky, excited, and defensive tones reflect his self-consciousness and how easily he turns to anger, irrationally. Poe’s diction heightens the cocky tone, which is seen as the narrator describes his foolproof plan. The narrator believes he can do anything “healthily” and “calmly” even though he admits to having the disease. He is proud of how “stealthily, stealthily” he planned the murder and “went boldly into the [old man’s] chamber, and spoke courageously”, so sure of himself that he even went into the man’s house. He cheerfully asks, “What had I to fear?” as he shows the police everywhere. In the end, his arrogance made him crack and confess his crime to the police. Poe uses descriptive adjectives of how amazing the narrator is to show how he is conceited. The diction shows that the subject completely believes in his plan and himself. Poe uses diction throughout the story to show the cockiness and haughtiness of the narrator. The imagery that Poe uses creates an irrational tone full of anger. When he first sees the eye his “blood ran cold” and later when the old man moaned he, “knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although” he “chuckled at heart”. After the murder, the subject yells about the old…show more content…
The murderer asks, “why will you say that I am mad?” and throughout the story he continuously defends his behavior, “The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them,” and he asserts, “I describe the wise precautions I took,” making him seem on edge and untrustworthy of the reader. If the short story had not been in the first person, how defensive he was about his sanity would not have been as clear. He assures the reader that he is sane, also showing that everyone around most certainly believes he is not. The first person point of view makes the defensive tone prominent throughout the short
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