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Tell-Tale Heart Essay, Research Paper

Analysis of “The Tell-Tale Heart”

Point of view is important to any story, because it can

help create the mood, and setting of a piece. “The Tell-

Tale Heart” is a good example of this. In “The Tell-Tale

Heart” Poe uses first person point of view to create

suspense and tension, while letting the reader try to

discover the thoughts of the narrator.

Throughout the story, Poe is careful how he portrays

his words. The way he does portray them creates a sense of

suspense that makes you feel as if you are observing the

whole event, frame by frame. In this story, Poe states “For

a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I

did not hear him lie down” (63). In this example his words

are described in such vivid detail that you picture this

scene perfectly. Another example includes when Poe uses

such phrases as, “It was open-wide, wide open-and I grew

furious as I gazed upon it” (63). The use of repetition in

first person point of view helps to stir some emotions of

the unknown. It creates the suspense of not knowing what

will happen next.

By using first person point of view, Poe was able to

show how the narrator feels. An example of this is when the

narrator uses the phrases at the beginning to question his

existence. The narrator wanted to know if he was mad, or

not. Phrases such as “I heard all things in the heaven and

in earth” (62), tells the reader that the narrator indeed is

mad, yet the narrator thinks himself not. In the following

statement, “If still you think me mad, you will think so no

longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the

concealment of the body” (64). This in turn helps the

reader form their opinion that this man is mad.

Poe brilliantly uses first person point of view to his

advantage in this story. It brings out many feelings in the

readers mind. Without the use of this point of view, this

story would not contain the clarity and suspense it does.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Tell-Tale Heart. Literature: An

Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, Sixth ed.

Ed. Lisa Moore et al., New York, NY: Harper Collins.

1995. 61-65.

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