A question concerning Tell Tale Heart

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Please explain the characterizatoin developed in Tell Tale Heart.Also anhthing you feel is symbolic . Please respond Soon!!!! Thanks!!!

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2000


Poe shows different views of the narrator throughout the story. The Fact that he relates the pale blue eye to a falcon is symbolic of a death. Poe gives us certain feelings and emotions in the narrator that could suggest he is insane or sane. I had to write an article for school suggesting that the narrator was sane. This is what I turned in.

“The Tell-Tale Heart-sane”

Imagine a man with a vulturous blue eye that has a white film over it. Would this drive one’s self so insane that you kill a man for it? This is what the situation was in the book, “The Tell-Tale Heart”; the narrator kills a man because of his blue eye. In this book the narrator, believe it or not is completely sane because he is calm and confident, How the murderer was planed, and because of his normal human feeling’s and emotions. The first example in the book that show’s he is sane is his calmness and his confidence. One way the narrator showed his calmness in the book was when he said, “When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down”. The narrator is waiting calmly without even moving, and while doing this he is still thinking about what he will do, and why he is doing this. When the narrator showed how calm he was he showed how he could think through things, obviously the murderer was thinking straight. “I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done.” The narrator showed his confidence by the fact that he did not hesitate in killing the old man; he did it quickly and calmly. When someone is confident they are proud of what they are doing. Even though murderer is cruel he is proud of what he is doing which is a normal feeling to have if one is accomplishing a task that is needed to be done. This pride is shown in all of the narrators calmness and confidence in un-normal circumstances the narrator shows that he is just like every other sane person who has a nagging problem in which they can do nothing about it, but the extreme. Another clue that tells the reader he is sane is that the murderer was well planned. Before the narrator actually killed the man he went into his room every night for seven nights before the murder. When he did this he was consistently planning, and thinking about how he would commit the crime for seven nights. The author was also testing the man with the eye to see if he would wake up when someone stood by his room. “I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye- not even his-could have detected anything wrong.” The narrator had been thinking hard of how he would hide his crime, and when the time came to do this he did everything perfectly. After extensive planning for seven nights, when the eighth night came he was ready. The narrator put a lot of thought into how he would commit this crime which planning is something an insane person would not be able to do. The last piece of evidence that shows that the narrator was sane was his feelings and emotions, and the way he portrayed them. One of the feelings he showed was love and compassion he showed this when he said, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire.” The narrator clearly loves and cares for the man, but the nagging feeling inside of him towards the man was to strong. Even though a child love’s and cares for there parents there is always something that nags them about there parents, and these are normal emotions that every sane person has. Another common feeling the narrator had was guilt. When the policemen came to the old mans house the narrator had cleverly tricked them into thinking nothing was wrong, but he asked them to stay and as the hours went by he eventually confessed his crime. Clearly the narrator was driven to guilt, which is and emotion that every sane person has felt at one time or another. Even though he had a chance to get away with what he had done, but no one can ignore there emotions for to long and eventually guilt will drive people to confession. The narrator is experiencing the same feelings and emotions that everyone has which can lead to the conclusion that he is sane. From the evidence clearly stated in the story, which included the calmness and confidence, the planning, and the narrator’s normal feelings and emotions, the narrator is sane. Most criminals and murderers in this society are regular people, and some are even smarter then the average person. To commit a successful crime this large it takes a reason to commit the crime, careful planning, and skill in controlling ones emotions. The insane criminals have no reason at all, little if any planning, and their emotions are out of control. However the narrator controlled his emotions and committed the crime calmly and confidently. These are skills that an insane person would never have the capability to master.

-- Anonymous, November 19, 2000

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