Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart'

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Edgar Allen Poe's 1843 short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" is about a young man who becomes mortally obsessed with an old man's creepy eye and ultimately kills him. Thomas Hardy's 1902 poem "The Man He Killed" is about a soldier who has become used to killing people just because they are on the other side of the war. Both of these narratives lend insight into guilt related to death, told by a person who is self-aware enough to tell the story in a first person narrative. Moreover, both of these stories have a similarly suspenseful tone that accompanies imagery of death and murder. Although one is a short story and the other a poem, Poe and Hardy also rely on a similar plot structure in which the narrator relates how and why he killed another man rather arbitrarily. In spite of these core similarities, there are also strong differences between "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Man He Killed." In spite of these differences, both Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" and Hardy's "The Man He Killed" use point of view, tone, and plot to discuss attitudes toward death and guilt. A first-person narrator provides an intimate point of view that helps convey attitudes toward death and guilt. Both Poe and Hardy rely on their narrators to convey concepts related to death and killing. Told in the first person, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is more about the narrator than about the victim of the murder. In "The Man He Killed," the first person narration likely takes the reader's attention away from the victim
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