The Tell Tale Heart : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

In the short story "The Tell Tale Heart" is the narrator a man or a woman?

-- Anonymous, November 26, 2002


The narrator is a man. It's suppose to be Poe himself I believe

-- Anonymous, November 26, 2002

"This narrator may be male or female because Poe uses only "I" and "me" in reference to this character. Most readers assume that the narrator is a male because of a male author using a first person point of view; however, this story can also be plausible when the derranged protagonist appears as a woman. Most critics would argue this point by saying that Poe would "assume" that the reader would "know" that the protagonist was male, therefore, he would see no need to identify his sexless narrator. However, Poe was a perfectionist who left very little to guesswork. Could it be that this was no accident or something that he thought would be universally understood, but that Poe was creating a story whose impact could be changed simply by imagining this horrendous and vile deed being committed by a woman?"

From :

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

You have to look hard to see ANY writing of Poe that starts from the perception of a woman. One example of this is "The Premature Burial" where all the anecdotes speak of the reactions of the males, but not the woman. Perhaps he felt as did others writing authentically of the extremely acute perception that the other sex was beyond them and it would be artificial to pretend otherwise. Stephen King's reaction to his own drawback was to purposefully use a leading female character "Carrie". Common sense should prevail here. Having a mad female commit violent murder was more than the story intends and he would have spelled out such a shocker. Whatever, he never would have crawled into her mind to do it.

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

I think that the narrorater in Tell Tale Heart has nothing to do with Poe him self. Becuase we learned that his stories had nothing to do with him self so i think it could be male or female.

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2002

Hehe, he's a man. But A.r. would be more than happy to "make sure". Hehe

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ