Direct Characterization In The Tell Tale Heart

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In this excerpt “from The Tell-tale Heart,” Edgar Allan Poe creates the supercilious character of an unnamed narrator through indirect characterization. Using the components of character motivation, internal thoughts, and actions, Poe portrays a story about deception and reveals the feelings of superiority, and ultimately guilt, that is invoked by the pretense of innocence. The narrator’s motivations can be identified through his internal thoughts and his actions. For example, both components are recognized when the narrator says “while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.” The first portion of the sentence, “In the wild audacity of my perfect triumph,” gives readers a clue on how he perceives his situation. According to his internal thoughts, the narrator …show more content…

It is understood that the narrator felt the blood draining out of his face, which usually occurs due to nervousness or unease. The fact that he felt these emotions indicates his actual view on the situation. The narrator no longer felt “singularly at ease,” as his physical response to his hidden guilt made that obvious. Moreover, his repeating thought in the beginning of the excerpt, “For what had I to fear,” gave the narrator a dissolute appearance. However, his true morals are revealed when the narrator shows signs of guilt like “My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears.” The narrator’s transition from superiority to guilt represents the reality that the acknowledgement of wrongdoings can either be done consciously or unconsciously, and that the latter has considerable negative

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