The Imp in Us All

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The Imp in Us All "The Imp is taken to be a self destructive force present in all of us but with important difference in each person according to the power of will and morality". (Edwards 162) Those important differences both connect and individualize the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Imp of the Perverse, The Tell Tale Heart, and William Wilson all demonstrate Poe's fascination and exploration with inner conflict and torturer. These short stories deal with the same issue but present it in different ways by making the characters vary when describing their will and their morality. Hawthorne punctuates this fact through his famous character Reverend Dimmesdale from the Scarlet Letter. He demonstrates that…show more content…
It is this insistent lucidity that tips off the reader to his insanity".(Kesterson-78) With the stories being so similar it is imperative for Poe to create subtle differences that make the two tales able to stand on their own. The inner struggle of this second character develops much more quickly in this story. His whole torment happens within one day of the actual murder. This would lead the reader to believe that this man is one of weaker will and with more morality then the previously mentioned character. In fact the man hears the beating of the heart before he actually kills the old man, "the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment!-do you mark me well".(Poe-137) The beating of the heart continues after the murder and it is then that Poe investigates another aspect of inner struggle. By making the police come to scene the man is forced into immediate confrontation. Even though he is sure that there was no trace of the sin committed, his mental torture was so agonizing, and apparent, he found it impossible to maintain his secret any longer. Poe uses the quick turn of event to show how insane the actual character was and to show that he was long in need of help. However it is the man's personal struggle that makes
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