Tell Tale Heart Short Story

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Most people seem to have a friend or peer they cannot trust. Generally, this person makes things up and is not a good source of information. This is extremely similar to an unreliable narrator, which is someone generally characterized as telling a story incorrectly due to a condition or other reason that prohibits him or her from seeing things the way they are. The short stories “Tell Tale Heart,” “Yellow Wallpaper,” and “Strawberry Spring” provide examples of unreliable narrators with various conditions. The caretaker narrator in “Tell Tale Heart,” a calculating, cold-blooded murderer, is clearly insane. At the beginning of the story, he tells the reader his reasoning and justifications for committing his heinous acts. He admits, “I loved the old man. He never wronged me” (Poe 1). While he claims to feel warmly towards his ward, it turns out he kills in a calculated and methodical way. It is impossible to believe that he is truly capable of love. Later in the story, when the narrator is observing the old man, he says, “Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief,” (Poe 3). There is absolutely no way the narrator could assume the cause of a simple groan. Because of irrational conclusion, a reader cannot believe his belief about the reason for his groan. Clearly, the narrator of “Tell Tale Heart” is not of reliability, and the story he tells should not be taken as told. The story “Yellow Wallpaper
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