Thesis Statement Tell Tale Heart Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Essay

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Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a short story about internal conflict and obsession, showcases the tortured soul due to a guilty conscience. The story opens with an unnamed narrator describing a man deranged and plagued with a guilty conscience for a murderous act. This man, the narrator, suffers from paranoia, and the reason for his crime is solely in his disturbed mind. He becomes fixated on the victim’s (the old man’s) eye, and his conscience forces him to demonize the eye. Finally, the reader is taken on a journey through the planning and execution of a murder at the hands of the narrator. Ultimately, the narrator’s obsession causes an unjust death which culminates into internal conflict due to his guilty conscience. The…show more content…

The cold and calculating confession is due to the fact that the narrator has detached himself from all sense of normal remorse. His madness has rendered him unable to control ordinary emotions. Instead, he is left begging the reader to praise his cunningly accomplished acts. The narrator states, “You should have seen me,” and then implores again, “You should have seen how wisely I proceeded – and with what caution – with what foresight – with what dissimulation I went to work!” (Poe 923). It is apparent to the reader, or anyone of sound mind, that this man is suffering a mental breakdown due to obsessive paranoia. What triggered his obsession with the victim is something so simple it cannot be justified. It was the victim’s eye! The motivation for murder according to the narrator was “not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye” (Poe 922). However, it is possible that the eye symbolizes a necrosis of the narrator’s spirit. The narrator uses terms such as “infuriate”, “hideous”, “vulture” and “dammed” when describing the eye (Poe 923). These words are often used to describe the demonization of individuals who commit irrational crimes against humanity, such as the crime our narrator is confessing to, the murder and dismemberment of an innocent old man in his sleep. In “The Physiognomical Meaning of Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’”, Edward W. Pritcher states “it

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It is important that your thesis refers to the fact that as the story is a first-person account of events, the audience has only information from a clearly deranges source. The narrator’s words, action and diction all conspire to present him as an irrational, and therefore untrustworthy, narrator.

An exploration of the bizarre movements of the narrator would help to indicate his heightened consciousness and awareness, and may be called upon to support a claim...

It is important that your thesis refers to the fact that as the story is a first-person account of events, the audience has only information from a clearly deranges source. The narrator’s words, action and diction all conspire to present him as an irrational, and therefore untrustworthy, narrator.

An exploration of the bizarre movements of the narrator would help to indicate his heightened consciousness and awareness, and may be called upon to support a claim that he is so precise in his actions and observations that his account is intensely precise. A possible question for debate and analysis could be the following:

‘The story of “The Tell Tale Heart" requires the audience to trust the account of an unreliable narrator.’ How far do you believe this to be the case?’

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