Tell Tale Heart Irony Analysis

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Fear is a survival skill that tells you what to avoid in life and helps you become aware of different dangers. Yet, though fear helps avoid certain dangers, it can also lead you to a different type of danger: paranoia. If one lets themselves become trapped into their fears, paranoia begins to settle into our minds, making us feel as if these fears are surrounding us, and there is no such way to escape them. It can also make us so obsessed that we begin to have hallucinations, believing that these fears may be out to get us. In short stories written by Edgar Allen Poe, each main character experiences the helpful or harmful sides of fear and deals with it in different ways. Poe uses symbolism, irony, and imagery to show how fear molds the narrators’…show more content…
For example, in “Tell-Tale Heart”, the narrator’s problem throughout the story is the old man’s eye, which leads to killing the old man and supposedly ending his issues once and for all, but actually gives him a new problem with the beating of the old man’s heart. “Dissemble no more! I admit the deed!-tear up the planks!-here,here!-it is the beating of his hideous heart,” cries the narrator (78). The irony of this is that the narrator spent the majority of the story trying to find a way to rid himself of the eye, which is the thing that tormented him throughout the story. But, in turn, the narrator grows the problem of the beating of the heart in its place. This also relates to his fears, the eye representing his fear of being watched and judged for his actions, and the heart now representing his fear of the actions he's committed. Similarly, “The Masque of the Red Death” also has some irony to it as well. Prospero’s attempts at keeping the “Red Death” at bay fail because “the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all” (61). Prospero believes that as long as he is safely confined in the castle, death will never come to him. His fears drive him to this action, mainly his fear of contracting the “Red Death”, which is known to give agonizing pain and miserable fatality to those who contract it. Even though Prospero did everything in his…show more content…
To demonstrate, the narrator of the “Pit and the Pendulum” uses his logical thinking to find a way to escape the torment of the Inquisition: “With a steady movement--cautious, sidelong, shrinking, and slow--I slid from the embrace of the bandage and beyond the reach of the scimitar. For the moment, at least, I was free,” (72). The imagery of the Pendulum shows how unnerving and intense it is to be waiting there for it to kill you, with no possible way out. The narrator at first fears this dreadful end, knowing that it would be a painful, drawn-out one. But, his quick-thinking and possible strategies helped him become able to avoid death by the pendulum, as well as letting him stay alive long enough to be rescued. Another crucial factor to the narrator’s escape is his ability to continue to hold hope that he will survive the persecution and affliction of the torture room: “It was hope that prompted the nerve to quiver--the frame to shrink. It was hope--the hope that triumphs on the rack--that whispers to the death-condemned even in the dungeon of the Inquisition,” (70). The imagery of the torture room is to show you how it would be most people’s ends, being full of contraptions and other sorts that would make anybody believe that they were going to die there, with no chance at surviving. The

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