Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart

2123 words - 8 pages

Edgar Allen Poe has explored three different themes: His own life, the nameless narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and the literary criticism on “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Edgar Allen Poe began his life in Boston, MA on the 19th of January in the year 1809 (Kennedy). He was the 2nd son of David Poe, Jr., a famous actor, and the actress known as Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe. David, his father, deserted his family a year after Poe was born, and died the following year, in December (Kennedy).
Since his father left, David’s oldest son, Henry was left with some relatives that resided in Baltimore. Eliza, their mother, took care of Edgar and his younger sister, Rosalie, while continuing to be an actress. His mother eventually passed away from tuberculosis sometime after her final stage performance on October in 1811, she died on the 8th of December in Richmond, Virginia. Afterwards, Edgar found a home John Allan and his wife, Frances Valentine Allan. They were a childless couple, who raised Edgar as their very own, yet, they never decided to adopt him (Kennedy).
Poe wrote poems to nearby girls as a young child. One woman he cherished though, Jane Stith Stanard, a mother of his friend, died in 1824. Poe was known his athleticism, he often participated in races, and boxing (Kennedy). Allan insisted Poe to enroll into the University of Virginia in 1826. He studied modern and classical languages there. At the college, alcohol and gambling were common, as was fist fights (Kennedy). As Poe was 20 years of age, his future seemed brighter. Because of Allan, Poe had an appointment with West Point (Kennedy).

Poe loves to write about darker, morbid things that make the reader judge the protagonist’s actions, yet pity him for doing such a thing (Ki). You can never tell what will happen next with the way Poe writes; he knows exactly what to write to surprise you nonstop. What is not learned until the end, is that the narrator is the cause of his own torture (Gargano). In majority of Poe’s stories, each protagonist, or main character, in each story is psychologically obsessed with a strange phenomenon, that has an effect throughout the story (May). For example, in the earlier parts of the story, the protagonist thought to himself, “TRUE!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily—how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe).
The Tell-Tale Heart, is a story, although, not revealed, about father-son incest (Kachur). Throughout the story, the old man was the “eye”, or “vulture’s eye” as the narrator calls it. The “eye” is what kept the narrator unnerved, and was the main reason that drove him to kill the man (Madi and Shadi). In the beginning of the story, the narrator...

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