Imagery In The Tell Tale Heart

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The deafening thud of a heartbeat fills the air, muffling the cries of help while the old man thrashes underneath the weight of the schizophrenic narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe. Relief falls upon the murderer-for the old man dies at last. His eye will disturb him no longer. Poe 's utilization of imagery exhibits how the narrator perceives the geriatric man and steers the narrator into a pit of his own demise. The man justifies his perturbing actions to prove himself sane which leads to the self-destruction of the narrator. The narrator experiences "three states of being are present concurrently: emotional tension, loss of mental grasp upon the actualities of the situation, and inability to act or act deliberately" (Robinson…show more content…
Poe 's use of imagery demonstrates how the homicidal criminal 's obsession with a man 's deformity propels him to sin, creating a sense of self-hatred and guilt that overwhelms him. The madman uses " 'eye ' not as an organ of vision but as the homonym of 'I. ' Thus, what the narrator ultimately wants to destroy is the self, and he succumbs to this urge when he could no longer contain his overwhelming sense of guilt" (Chua 2). The narrator 's guilt is symbolizing with a beating heart in which " 'he places his hand upon the heart and holds it there many minutes. ' In the end, it seems to his overstrain nerves that the police officers linger inordinately in the house, chatting and smiling, until he is driven frantic by their cheerful persistence." (Robinson 5). He is driven insane and loses the chance to get away with a perfect murder is the police being genuinely blissful unlike him who fakes it. The narrator keeps reestablishing that he belongs in the world when in actuality he is really like the old man in that "[s]imilar sensory details connect the two men. The vulture eye which the subject cast upon the narrator is duplicated in the "single dim ray" of the lantern that fell upon his own eyes; like the unshutters lanterns, it is always one eye that is mention, never two" (6). The imagery is used to describe the eye and how Poe only speaks of one eye, not both demonstrates the narrator is only thinking about himself and his intentions. The narrator says he blames the eye, but he kills the old man because he is too much of a reminder of himself, so the narrator had to
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