The Characteristic Eye In Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

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In Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, the old man’s milky, pale blue, vulture-like eye appears to hold a significant role in discovering the protagonists true motives and emotions. Throughout the story, the protagonist clearly expresses his hateful feelings regarding the lifeless eye by stating, “Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees-very gradually-I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever”(Poe, 312). This statement suggests that the protagonist is not sane or reasonable in his thinking and decision making and therefore does not truly understand that it is not the eye alone that is troubling him, it is instead what the eye represents. Throughout the story of The Tell-Tale Heart it starts to become clear that, to the protagonist, the old man’s eye is a symbol and a reminder of the inevitability of death. In the beginning of the story, the old man’s eye is described by the protagonist as being vulture-like, this comparison is of great interest because of the fact that vultures are animals that are well known as being symbols of death. One may also relate or compare a vulture to a grim reaper, both are thought of us something that comes in contact with the dead. For the protagonist to describe the old man’s eye as being like the eye of a vulture, is relevant and interesting when discussing the option that the protagonist may have viewed the eye as an unwanted reminder of death and of being mortal. It

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