Conflict in Tell-Tale : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

What is considered to be the main conflict in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2000


The main conflict in "The Tell-Tale Heart" is within the narrator himself. Throughout the first half of the story his is torn because he has nothing against the old man, especially at night when his eyes are closed. His problem lies with the old man's pale blue vulture eye. So for a week, as he watched the man sleep he could not bear to kill him, because the eye was closed. This is the main conflict, which is why it is easy for him to kill the old man on the eighth night since his eye is open.

In the second half of the story, the conflict turns to the narrator's inner thoughts while the police are there. In the beginning of their meeting, he is confident and proud of the meticulous work he had done in killing the old man and disposing of all evidence. But, guilt slowly builds up within him as he hears the beating of the dead man's heart from under the floorboards. His confidence is fleeting fast as he is sure that the police too can hear this phantom beating. He turns from a calm, confident and proud man into a paranoid lunatic, thus revealing his deed to the police.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2000

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