Theme Of Suspense In The Tell Tale Heart

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There is always something that bothers us in life, whether it’s others or even our own conscious. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator has a difficult time following through with his cruel acts because a part of him knows it’s truly wrong. Throughout the story, his crimes bring more tension between him and the old man. Suspense is created with his every move, leaving readers hanging on the edge of their seats. In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Poe builds suspense by using symbolism, inner thinking, and revealing information to the reader that a character doesn’t know about.

To begin, Edgar Allan Poe uses symbolism in his short story to create suspense. The narrator hears the beating of the heart, although it really represents how nervous he is as a result of his crime. An excerpt from the text states, “It grew louder - louder - louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God - no, no! They heard! - they suspected! - they knew! - they were making a mockery of my horror!” This is showing how nervous the narrator felt when the police officers came to make sure everything was normal. He was all right at first, but then his guilt flooded back when he heard a heartbeat, yet he never realized that it was only him hearing it. Also, Poe symbolizes the old man’s eye as the narrator’s flaws and traits. In the story, the text states, “He had the eye of a vulture … for
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Suspense about the characters, suspense about the plot; everything was a mystery. The narrator’s every step brought suspense, especially when he got involved with the beating of the heart. Towards the end of the story, the author leaves readers constantly wondering as the suspense is increasing - What will happen to the characters, or how will they end up? These are questions that readers often find themselves asking, although the most common question is simply what will happen
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