Tell Tale Heart Suspense Analysis

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Suspense sparks fascination, eagerness, and trepidation in people. In “Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator is a madman on the quest to kill an elderly man he lives with. He continuously claims that he is not insane as he guides the reader on his one-week journey to killing the old man with the glass eye. It wasn’t the old man who disturbed the narrator, but his cold, icy blue eye with a strange film over it. Poe uses tone, 1st person narrator, and symbolism to build suspense throughout the story. The author uses tone to build suspense throughout the story. After the narrator finally completes the task, and the old man is gone he says, “I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done.” The author uses certain phrases to create…show more content…
One example of symbolism is that the old man’s eye resembles the narrator’s anger. “--but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me; but his Evil Eye.” This quote shows how the narrator is not able to harm the old man until he gets a glimpse of his cold eye. This build suspense because now the reader knows that one the old eye is visible, the murder will commence. Another example of symbolism in “Tell-Tale Heart” is that the old man’s beating heart symbolizes the narrator’s guilt. “I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose all over and continuously increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled.” This quote shows how the narrator is the only one who can hear the sound of the man’s beating heart. When the narrator says “It grew louder --louder --louder!” it builds suspense because the reader can understand the narrator is being driven insane by the noise, about to give himself away to the police. Once the connection is made that the heart symbolizes his guilt, the reader can infer that he cannot hold the truth inside him much longer, and he will
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