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Of Fear And Infatuation In Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

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“The old man’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. . . In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him” (Poe 17-18). In his horrific short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allan Poe writes about fear and infatuation. Because the nameless narrator fears the old man’s eye, obsession begins to grow with his horror. The narrator’s infatuation over the eye causes him to murder the old man in order to permanently remove the eye from seeing again. Poe uses idiom, point of view, hyperbole, and repetition to emphasize how his fears drives obsession. By using idioms, an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning…show more content…
Fearful of the old man’s eye, the narrator begins to obsess over ridding it from his life forever. Poe uses point of view throughout the story to provide the narrator’s perspective to the readers. For seven nights, the narrator has been watching the old man sleep. On the eighth night, his thumb slipped on the fastening of the lantern, startling the old man. This literary device is found in the rising action of the story, where the narrator then hears “the groan of mortal terror… [and he] knew the sound well” (Poe 16). By stating that he “knew the sound well,” he means that he has experiences the feeling of “mortal terror” which represents how he feels toward the horrific eye. The narrator has felt the awe and the terror within himself. As a result, he becomes obsessed with the idea that his presence brought fear to the old man. This demonstrates that he finds delight in making the old man frightened and afraid. The narrator occasionally gives us insight of the old man’s feelings and thoughts, which is merely a reflection of the narrator’s own perception. Overall, by using point of view, the author is able to show the narrator’s fear as well as the fear he brings to the old
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