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
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
In Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator is so bothered by an old man’s eye that he decides to kill him. In the end, he thinks he hears the beating of the old man’s heart even after he has died, so the narrator confesses to the police. Throughout the story, the narrator keeps insisting he is sane, “but why will you say that I am mad? The disease has sharpened my senses – not destroyed-not dulled them... How, then, am I mad?” (Poe). However, despite his constant justification of his judgment, on cannot help but question the narrator’s true sagacity.
Unreliable narrators and mood had been an essential part of Poe’s success in writing. Untruthful speakers in “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”, intrigues reader so much that Poe’s stories are still used today. The unreliable narrators have kept people on the edge of their seat. Additionally in “The Black Cat” and also “The Raven”, mood has made readers feel like that they are actually experiencing the story first hand. Through Poe’s use of mood and unreliable narrators, he has become known as the master of
Poe writes “The Tell Tale Heart” from the perspective of the murderer of the old man. When an author creates a situation where the central character tells his own account, the overall impact of the story is heightened. The narrator, in this story, adds to the overall effect of horror by continually stressing to the reader that he or she is not mad, and tries to convince us of that fact by how carefully this brutal crime was planned and executed. The point of view helps communicate that the theme is madness to the audience because from the beginning the narrator uses repetition, onomatopoeias, similes, hyperboles, metaphors and irony.
In the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe creates the guilty character of an unnamed narrator through indirect characterization. Using the components of actions, dialogue, and motivations, Poe depicts a story about immorality and reveals confidence can cause a person to lose their awareness of a situation.
The two short stories “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado” share similar and different characteristics. Both written by Edgar Allen Poe, these stories involve murder, possibly insane narrators, and weak victims. They both also contain the theory of madness and obsession. Although these stories share many similar aspects, they differ in murder justification, murder execution, and final outcome of each situation.
First, Poe suggests the narrator is insane by his assertions of sanity. For example, the narrator declares because he planned the murder so expertly he could not be insane. He says, "Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen how wisely I proceeded-with what
1. He is not a reliable narrator because he is insane. Though he repeatedly states that he is sane, the reader suspects otherwise from his bizarre reasoning, behavior, and speech. ‘‘True—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?'' The reader realizes through Poe’s description of the narrator’s extreme nervousness that the protagonist has in fact descended into madness, as anxiety is a common symptom of insanity. He apparently suffers from some form of paranoia. Besides, the narrator claims that he loves the old man and has no motive for the murder other than his growing dislike of a cloudy film over one of the old man’s eyes. His madness becomes
In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allen Poe depicts a gruesome tale. His use of dark imagery and harsh words make this story an unmistakable product of the Dark Romantic period. Poe’s use of the first person narrator adds an important dimension to the story. The narrator’s thoughts are eating him alive and Poe clearly portrays this to readers by repeating words and having the narrator constantly question himself:
Edgar Allan Poe is acknowledged today as one of the most brilliant writers and masters of horrors in American literature. This can be seen in his two short stories “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale-Heart”. Both of these stories are written in first person and ends with their victim 's death. These stories contain many similarities and differences in term of the characters, theme, mood, irony, setting, confession, and the reason for committing murder.
Poe indicates through the occurrence of the events that the narrator has descended into madness. As his guilt constantly haunts him, the narrator is unable to hide it any longer, and confesses everything to the authorities, which ruins his seemingly “perfect crime.” Here, his sanity is in question, as no man of sound mind would openly confess his evil doings to the authorities. The fact that he narrates his crime to prove that he is sane, proves that he is in fact, insane (Holland).
It is known that Edgar Allan Poe was a short story writer, novelist, essayist, poet and an editor. His background created a foundation in short fiction and the effects of it. In Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado” he tells a short story of great tension and revenge. The author uses many different literary elements in his story including irony.
Edgar Allan Poe is a prominent writer who wrote many peculiar and uncanny short stories and poems. One of the stories Poe wrote, “The Tell Tale Heart,” published in 1843, is about a narrator who is paranoid about an old man’s eye, so he decides to eradicate it. Another story by Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado,” published in 1846, is about a narrator who seeks revenge on his friend because, in the past, he was insulted by him. Both stories contain narrators, which are mentally unstable, but the narrator’s traits, their motives for the murder, and how their guilt is exhibited differ.
Poe has a history of presenting characters with personal flaws who often confess to atrocious deeds. Both The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat tell the story of a seemingly senseless murder complicated by the vaugery of preternatural occurrences. The reader is forced to question whether or not they should believe what they are being told. Both of these narrators, the wife killer and the landlord killer, are unreliable and have a similar theme. The narrators are both mentally unstable however their conditions vary. The psychological implications of each character's’ attitude suggests while both are crazy, one is a sociopath and the other is a psychopath.
Authorial intrusion, which is uncommon in most works of contemporary fiction, is arguably the most important literary device Poe uses to construct the narrator’s manic voice. Though the entire story is written as a confessional, the unnamed chronicler frequently interrupts his recount to attempt to convince the reader that he actually isn’t insane. After explaining his egregious crime along with the motivation; the narrator proceeds to state “You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me” (92). These erratic sentences interrupt the flow of the writing but are extremely important in developing the narrator's voice as it further Following the quote he explains the methodical lengths he went through; lengths that only an absolute psychopath would find rational, and attempts to justify them as his own cunning intellect rather than an insatiable desire to kill. He reiterates a similar variation of this sentence multiple times throughout his recounting of the events, “If you still think me mad, you will think so no longer” (95) and “have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?” (94), which again helps to reinforce this idea that the narrator is truly unaware of his own madness.
In this story, Poe wrote in first person narrative.The setting is irrelevant all that we know is that it is the home of an elderly man in which the narrator is his caretaker. The main character is also the narrator who isn't named throughout the story. The Narrator In The Tell-Tale Heart is telling the story of how he killed the old man while pleading his sanity. To quote a phrase from the story, "The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story." Even though he claims that he is sane here, The events that follow clearly show otherwise.