Indirect Characterization In The Tell Tale Heart

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The Tell-Tale Heart: Indirect Characterization In the excerpt “from The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allen Poe creates the conflicted character of an unnamed narrator through indirect characterization. Using the components of Action, what others say, and character’s internal thoughts, Poe portrays a story about insanity and reveals the conflicted and even insane thoughts and emotions going on in the character’s head. Poe uses Action as a component of indirect characterization to depict the meaning of the poem in many instances. For example, in the second paragraph when Poe describes how the narrator treated the visitors, and he writes, “ I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search - search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber.” …show more content…

For example, in the third paragraph, when the officers have almost finished their search and Poe writes, “They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things.” (Poe 24-26) In this quote the police officers seem to be relaxed and convinced of the narrator’s innocence. They talk to him of familiar and innocent topics probably not-at-all related to their investigation. This clearly is an example of indirect characterization because the fact that the cops are talking to a would-be suspect with complete relaxation shows the confident and calm character of the narrator. In the excerpt Poe also uses the component of character’s internal thoughts to add to the character of the unnamed narrator. For example, In the the last paragraph, when the narrator begins to be agitated by a ringing and Poe writes, “ But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears:” (Poe 26-28) In this quote, the narrator is clearly getting agitated and extremely bothered by a ringing in his ears. This quote portrays the narrator’s dramatic shift in character; he literally becomes the opposite of what his character and composure were before. This is a key point in understanding the narrator’s character and the overall meaning of the

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