Realism In The Tell Tale Heart

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“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, which a story that revolves

around the vivid memory of the narrator’s calculated moves, from inception to the murder itself.

The narrator bares his soul, and his strong sense of paranoia to justify his sanity, but in the end,

confirms his ‘madness’ by the vile act of murder he commits. The narrator reveals the profound

truth, of how untruthful and deceiving the human heart could be, and at the same time, how it

can be brutally honest at the point of death.

Edgar Allan Poe’s works prove to be products of a highly creative and imaginative mind. His

innovative style of writing and his tales of suspense and mystery form the backbone of modern

detective stories.
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Some say

that the narrator, was a father figure, or a servant to the old man, or it could be that the old man

was the narrator’s landlord. It is striking that details which reveal the identity of the two

characters are not in abundance which makes it stand in contrast, to the very detailed plot that

leads up to the murder ("Sparknotes: Poe’S Short Stories: “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843)"). The

short story takes place in the house of the old man. The conflict of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” lies in

how the narrator felt for the old man. One may wonder, if Poe was channeling the painful

resentments, he had for his foster father Allan, onto the character of the “old man.” These deep

emotions have lain dormant in Poe, hidden in his heart and one may ask if somehow, these

emotions are now spilling out, as if out of control. The narrator observes the old man daily. He

was at a loss, as to when this intense emotion was born. The narrator believes that he “loved

the old man.” There was no evident reason for him to hate him, and yet the feeling of hatred

burns in him, every time he sees the pale blue eyes of the old man which makes his “blood
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When the opportunity came, he took the old man’s life

and coldly dismembered his body to hide under the floorboard and the whole house.

Even though it is one of the shortest stories that Poe has written, “The Tell-Tale Heart” remains a

profound foray into dynamics of the human mind and heart. It shows how the man in his despair

rationalizes his behavior (Poe, Edgar, 2). This short story shows that the narrator’s heart proved

to be untruthful and deceiving while the Old Man’s heart, although lifeless at that point

continued to speak of only the truth. One can also imagine, the horrors that the piercing gaze of

the old man, reminded Poe of. This gaze may have led Poe, to look at the depths of who he is.

What Poe must have experienced, in the hands of his foster father was intensely painful, and this

may have led him to bury these emotions very deeply into the subconscious.

The narrator reveals in the Short Story, the deep truth of how a man’s heart can manipulate

the truth, and how it can try to justify his actions. It also shows that if pains, run very deep, and

have not been allowed to heal, they can destroy the fabric of one’s sanity. One can then
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