28 February 2011
The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe is one of the greatest known authors of all times. He is known for his bizarre, mysterious, gloomy, and quite strange stories. As in the Tell-Tale Heart, Poe begins with a narrator that is not given a name or gender. Then he goes on explaining the story using his writing style he is well known for and uses his eccentric symbolism and imagery to help put it together to form another one of his many master pieces.
Sometimes there is more to literature then meets the eye. As in Poe’s short story there is a lot of hidden symbolism and imagery. The narrator describes the old man’s eye as blue with a “film” or “veil” covering it (Poe). Symbolically this means the characters have issues with their inner vision or what you could call how you perceive the outer world. They are stuck and everything seems obscured to them. Furthermore, the eye is capable of doing some peculiar things. It seems dull and unseeing but makes the narrator’s blood run cold; “ it chills the very marrow in [his] bones“(Poe). After hiding the old man’s body and replacing the boards, the narrator states “no human eye-not even his-could have detected anything wrong.” In this phrase it implies at some point the eye could have seen hidden or secret things.
Throughout this short story the narrator mentions a “watch” four times(Poe). A watch is a visual and auditory representation of time. Each tick of the hand on the watch symbolizes a movement closer to the inevitable death that all humans face. The narrator is controlling the time of the old man’s death. He is a walking death watch. The second mentioning of time is of death watches which is a type of beetle. These type of beetles live inside walls and bang their heads against it which is said to attract mates(Ivie). But in this story Poe is relating this concept to the countdown of the old man’s death. In addition, the third and fourth times the narrator...