The Tell-Tale Heart
Literary Analysis: Ashton Campbell
Guilt. The fact of having committed a specified crime or offense. Edgar Allen Poe had guilty times with writing "The Tell-Tale Heart." The thoughts of killing a man, but not coming off as insane. He incorporated his thoughts and feelings, which he put to good use. Poe's theme, detailed objectives, and word choice, sets us up for a chilling story. Edgar's themes are all similar, but in this story it is different. It is terrifying, and guilty. "True, I'm nervous. Very, very dreadfully nervous. But why would you say that i'm mad?" First off, he says he is very nervous, but he isn't insane, but nervous, but not crazy. Repeated over and over. "See how calmly, how precisely I can tell you the story. Listen. It starts with an old man. And an old man in an old house. A good man I suppose. He didn't harm me." So, this old man is the main action, the narrator is NOT insane, and the old man did nothing at all. " I didn't want his gold, if there was, what was it?" Okay, these quotes build up to the whole point as to why his guilt is there in the first place. Yes or No? it is quite obvious.
Everyone knows Poe's word choice given was always broad and gave us chills. "I proceeded -- with caution-- with what foresight -- with what dissimulation, I went to work" Dissimulation and foresight are not used daily and he makes it seem as is his murderous crimes are masking feelings, not insanity. "There was no pulsation. He was stone cold dead. His eve would bother me no more." Using pulsation (the act of a single beat, throb or vibration) makes it seem as a death sentence or the old mans life was just a pulse nothing more. Also, "his eve would bother me no more" is making this crime look like a habit he got rid of. His words are deceiving and shows that everything is okay, which it isn't.
In the "The Tell-Tale Heart", it may seem like he is rambling on, but the way he describes things are shown a lot. " But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime, the hellish tattoo of the heart increased." How he continues to explain how he got built up to kill the old man shows imagery, and sets up the mood. He relates that with the start of his pounding heart. "Almighty god!--no, no! They heard!-- they suspected--they knew!-- they were making mockery of my horror!" At this point he is retelling and retelling at ease, but the cops end up finding him. Claim #3 relates to the thesis because, the whole point was he had become mad, because of the descriptions that went through his mind. As shown above, Poe created a masterpiece based upon guilt. Sometimes your conscience is wrong and your guilt will become of you, and you will give in. "Villains! I shrieked dissemble no more, I admit to the deed!-- tear up the planks! here, here!-- It is the beating of his hideous heart!"