english essay

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I'm writing and essay on Poes short storie, The Tell-Tale Heart and i need to come up with a thesis statement. I was wondering if you could help me? I was thinking about writing something about the symbols in the story or the similes he uses. I just cant seem to come up with enough information. Please help! thanks heres and example of a thesis statement that i might use: -In the Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe uses symbols and similes to show his feelings. I know this isn't very good thats why i need help!lol

-- Anonymous, October 11, 2004


Perhaps a good -- and unusual, I think -- approach, for this bright but so often studied tale might be, for example, how Poe did use the auditive perception, as immediately suggested by the very title, (versus the more common visual one), when staging this frightening and effective confession (with some linking, why not, with the impaired eye of the victim?), together with some comparative analysis, from this point of view, of Poe's other very powerful composition: "The Cask of Amontillado", written some three years later. Try it, and good luck. Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2004

You might try the tedious task of scrolling through past answers on this topic until you hit upon something. There may be some articles at the various Poe links such as www.eapoe.org(Poe Studies scholarly articles)the poedecoder.com site etc.

The auditory and visual strains Poe uses are one of those split motifs speaking to the divided mind of the characters and Poe himself- a typical Romantic psychology but very much more genuine in Poe. The reduction of both senses, also the sense of touch, is very important. The eye is like the moon that maddens the "lunatic" and which Poe usually writes about negatively. The eyes are an attraction/repulsion theme. And the parallel! The murderer has his lantern beam which is the source of the light reflected off the old man's FALSE eye, the same way the moon is a false light AND the way the heartbeat comes from the murdderer not the dead victim. What we havce here is a failure to communicate. As a result, the self destructive urge is broadcast out to the old man and the the guilt after as well. The two ending(the murder, the confession) are a parallel double climax as well.

Keeping in mind the way the doubling of things, the mistakes, the single drive of thought(but subconscious self-betrayal) all are the unity of madness in this work of art. Look for other twinnings. Compare William Wilson, The BLack Cat and other abnormal psychologies.

Self deception, tragedy- but elated immensely by the power that comes from throwing onself into the unbound experience of reversing the truth and entering the abyss. People often miss the fact that even saner characters feel no remorse or anything else so much as captivation with the overwhelming experience even if it ends in the death of an innocent. People usually fall like children into the trap of actually believing in some supernatural terror along with the narrator. You have to step back to see what is really happening and that is harder than you think so strong is Poe's narrative web of distraction.

-- Anonymous, October 13, 2004

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