These two narrators use the form of the confession to explain away the content of their actions, but Poe uses this intimate connection between form and content to undermine their reliability as narrators. He believes that a precise description of his murder of the old man will establish his reliability as a sane narrator. In other words, he trusts in the intimate connection between form and content, but he never understands that the murderous content of his confession can make the clearness of his form irrelevant.
He is unable to perceive that by admitting his irrational fixation on a vulture-eye, he reveals his own mental pathology. On the one hand, he offers the external substance of alcohol as a rational explanation for his mood swings and his hanging of Pluto. On the other hand, though, he then uncritically accepts the appearance of the second cat with its changing fur in the shape of the gallows.
The narrator unwittingly portrays his own insanity by demonstrating his inability to escape the hauntings of the second cat. Though he employs the form of the confession to explain his actions, the narrator fails to see that these actions illustrate his deranged mentality. Poe elicits terror in these stories by enclosing his characters within confined settings that take on Gothic characteristics.
The setting, a prison cell, becomes a metaphor for the authoritarian power of the Inquisition. We never see any human representatives of the Inquisition. In this way, Poe imbues the physical setting with the human capacity for evil. The story's title refers to the beating heart that eventually drives the narrator to confess his crime. The reader is led to believe it is the beating of the old man's heart he hears, an impossibility, considering the old man has been murdered and dismembered, leaving three possibilities: The narrator claims he is not mad.
What evidence do we have that he is? What does the narrator do with the dead man's body? The narrator dismembers the body and carefully places it under a few floor boards in the old man's room.
He's confident that his crime will not be discovered, even inviting the investigator to sit on a chair directly above the dead body.
Why does the narrator want to kill the old man? I'll let him tell you: Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! The narrator visits the old man's bedroom every night for seven nights before killing him on the eighth night.
What finally causes him to commit the act? He hears the old man's heart. The narrator says, "It was the beating of the old man's heart.
It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into rage
Essay Questions Most students read ''The Tell-Tale Heart'' in 8th or 9th grade, and for many, it's a challenge. Poe's vocabulary is elevated compared to what they're used to reading, and the story's unreliable narrator may be the first one students have encountered.
The Tell-Tale Heart Homework Help Questions In what way is Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart' told differently from many other narratives? In order to see the difference between this short story and other narratives, it would be helpful to consider the how a typical narrative is written.
Need students to write about The Tell-Tale Heart? We've got discussion and essay questions designed by master teachers. "The Tell-Tale Heart" Study Questions with Answers written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 4/24/ Use these "Tell-Tale Heart" study questions to review Poe's classic tale of horror.
The Tell-Tale Heart. INCLUDED IN THIS UNIT ARE THE FOLLOWING: A PDF copy of the story with paragraph numbers. A PDF copy of the test. 26 multiple-choice questions and answers. Six essay questions along with detailed teacher notes/suggested answers. These questions vary as to difficulty and are aligned with many of the CCSS - see unit for details $. The Tell-Tale Heart Discussion Questions Next Lesson. The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Questions; Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart: Summary, Themes & Analysis; Poe's The Fall of the.