The Tell-Tale Heart

1599 Words7 Pages
The directive and apathetic personality of the protagonist respectively from “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” is also exposed through their style of narration. The man from the “Tell-Tale Heart” imposes a one-way dialogue with the reader in which he questions the reader and heavily suggests the answers. When he hears the old man’s heart beating for the first time, he says: “And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?“ (70). Through this technique, the narrator attempts to convince the reader of his sanity and the grandeur of his accomplishments, preventing the reader from thinking and developing his own arguments: he is forced to agree with the narrator’s point of view.…show more content…
On the one hand, the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” seems very much in control of his actions. He confesses the murder of the old man is premeditated. The idea of killing him indeed “haunted” him “day and night” (68). So, for eight nights in a row, he viciously takes pleasure in very slowly opening the old man’s door to observe his “vulture eye” (68) during his sleep. Even when the old man feels his presence in the room, he manages to take over his urges and stays still “for a whole hour” (71) behind the door, feeding his diabolic mind with his victim’s fear. After he kills his victim, he “describes the wise precautions” (71) he uses to bury the body of the old man. The term “wise” reveals again the level of control of the narrator: he put a lot of thoughts in how he should conceal the corpse. Even when the police comes to check his house, he stays surprisingly very serene: “for what I had to fear?” (71). He feels very confident to confront the policemen because he has been so cautious hiding his crime. He even feels cannier than they are since he invites them to “search well” (71). The blue eye of the man appeared much horrifying to him than the perspective of confronting the policemen. However, the dull blue eye and the heart beat of the old man push the narrator every time into an extreme state of nervousness. When the eye finally emerges through the ray of light, he describes it as “a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones” (70). The uncover of the eye pushes him into a frenzy. But this is the hearing of the old man’s heart beat that “excited” him “to uncontrollable terror” (70) and urged him to kill the man. This is the same heart beats that drive him to “foam”, “rave” and “swear”, pushing the limits of his sanity and reason, and finally force him to reveal his crime and surrender to the
Open Document