The Evil Eye Essay

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The Evil Eye

Edgar Allen Poe shows us the dark part of human kind. Conflict with in ones self, state of madness, and emotional break down all occur within this short story. The narrator of the story is a mad man that is haunted by his idea that the old man has an evil eye.

Through the first person narrator, Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Tell-Tale Heart" illustrates how man’s imagination is capable of being so vivid that it profoundly affects people’s lives. The manifestation of the narrator’s imagination unconsciously plants seeds in his mind, and those seeds grow into an unmanageable situation for which there is no room for reason and which culminates in murder.

The fixation on the old man’s vulture-like eye forces the narrator
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The narrator shows his contrariety when he confesses he loves the old man, but he is still too overwhelmed by the pale blue eye to restrain him from the all-consuming desire to eliminate the eye. His struggle is evident as he waits to kill the old man in his sleep so that he won’t have to face the old man when he kills him; but on the other hand, the narrator can’t justify the killing unless the vulture eye was open. The narrator is finally able to kill the man because of the torture of the eye.

The narrator sets out to rid his life of the fear he created by obsessing over the man’s eye, but once that fear is destroyed, another fear – that of the heartbeat – is created and becomes more overwhelming than the first. In playing mind games with him – seeing how far he can push himself to triumph over his own insanity – the narrator slips further into a fantasy world. His overriding confidence in killing the man ultimately turns into overriding guilt even as he justifies in his mind the savage killing, chopping up the body and placing it under the floorboards. The narrator’s imagination creates his need and plan to destroy the eye, but it then creates the need to save himself from the heartbeat that drives him over the edge.

Symbolism is an important aspect of the story. The major symbol is the heartbeat. The narrator believed that the sound was the beating of the old man's heart,
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