Tell Tale Heart Symbolism

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“The Tell-Tale” is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a story about an insane man killing an old man because the man has cataracts, or what he calls “the devil eye.” The crazy man is friends with the old man and is actually very nice towards him. The crazy man watches the old man sleep day after day for a week strait. On the seventh day, the crazy man is watching the old man, and awakens him by shining a light on the cataract eye. The light awakens the old man, which startles him and this startling provokes the crazy man to kill the poor old man just because he has a cataract eye. After the murder the crazy man cuts the old man into pieces and buries him under the floor of his home. Due to the noise of the murder and the disposal of the body, the cops come. The crazy man welcomes the cops into the house and lets them investigate because he is confident in his ability to hide the body and cover up the crime. As the cops are talking to the insane man he starts hearing a heartbeat, which eventually drives…show more content…
The murderer dismantles the old man’s dead body into three pieces: “the head and the arms and the legs” (Poe 39), when he hid them. The murderer did this to be able to place the body in the tight space, but it is also a symbol for the man’s mental, moral, and spiritual breakup. The “dismemberment and division into three parcles is the locically finial “death” of the old man, as well as a symbol of the utter breakdown of the man’s mental, moral, and spiritual breakdown” (Pitcher 232). This breakdown of the man’s mental, moral, and spiritual harmony led to his death. Poe borrowed the symbol of the three pieces of man that works harmoniously to show why the old man was murdered, and why the murderer disposed of the body in the way he
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