Literary Analysis On Edgar Allan Poe's Short Story

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Analysis on Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Black Cat" and “The Cask of Amontillado” share the common literary elements of unreliable first person narrator, irony, flashback and foreshadowing. Poe mainly focuses on the characterization in his three short stories through the use of unreliable narrator. All of the stories use flashback and foreshadowing to recall the protagonist’s criminal history. Poe discusses the guilty feeling and psychological traumas which negatively affect the protagonists after the murder. Moreover, irony also plays an important role among all stories as the narrators seem to be smart and rational in the beginning. However, their conscience is troubled by the…show more content…
Poe develops an unreliable narrator in the beginning of the story who strongly believes that he is just extremely nervous but not insane, this is shown in the excerpt, “Hearken! and observe how healthily – how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe, ). Moreover, the use of unreliable narrator illustrates that several emotions can exist collectively in human’s mind and people often have difficulty controlling them. The unreliable narrator uses confession to rationalize the crazy action to prove his sanity. The quote, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me” (Poe, ) shows the words narrator says is opposite to his actions to a certain extent as the narrator likes the old man but he murdered him violently at last because of his “vulture eye”. Overall, Poe’s characterization in the story allows readers to understand the unreliable nature of the protagonist and sees the murder from a different…show more content…
He names the antagonist as Fortunato, which means “Fortunate” in Italian. It is ironic as Fortunato got murdered as last and was not really fortunate. In addition, when the narrator heard Fortunato said “I shall not die of a cough”, he ironically responded “True” and drank for Fortunato’s long life. However, he still cruelly murdered Fortunato at last. The quote, “My heart grew sick--on account of the dampness of the catacombs” (Poe, ) illustrates that the narrator has a guilty conscience after committing the murders and finds excuses to lie to himself. Overall, Poe’s characterization portrays the development of a psychopathic personality of an unreliable narrator who is insane and evil. However, revenge overtakes the narrator and he has to live with a guilty conscience for the rest of his
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