116 The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics You Need to Know
Oct 28, 2022
Oct 28, 2022 | Topics
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic short story written by an American writer. The story follows an unnamed narrator who murders his old friend and hides the body under the floorboards of his house. As the police begin to suspect him, he experiences guilt and paranoia.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics :
Simple Essay Topics on The Tell-Tale Heart
- What motivates the narrator to kill an old man?
- Is the narrator insane, or is his conscience telling him he must do what he does?
- How does Poe’s use of language and imagery contribute to the story’s mood and tone?
- Why did Poe end it unusual instead of having the person be caught in another way readers expected at that time (or now)?
- Why do you think the older man killed his friend?
- Do you think that he saw a beating heart? Or maybe there was something else going on?
- Discuss the symbolism of the vulture eye in Allan Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
- Analyze Poe’s use of repetition in this story.
- Compare and contrast how different characters react to what they see in “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
- Discuss how Poe uses foreshadowing in this story.
- Discuss how Poe uses irony in this story.
- Discuss how Poe uses personification in this story.
- Discuss how Poe uses repetition in this story.
- Discuss how Poe uses hyperbole in this story.
Easy Essay Topics on The Tell-Tale Heart
- How does the narrator’s description of himself contradict his actions?
- What role does the man’s eye play in the story?
- What do we learn about human nature from this story?
- How does Poe use foreshadowing to build suspense?
- What is the significance of the title?
- What is the narrator’s attitude toward death?
- How does Poe create an atmosphere of suspense and horror in this story?
- What do the different settings tell us about the story?
- How does Poe use language to create an atmosphere of suspense and horror in this story?
- What role does nature play in this story?
- What is the significance of the setting for this story?
Interesting Essay Topics on The Tell-Tale Heart
- The effects of guilt on the narrator
- The relationship between sanity and insanity in the story
- Why do you think the narrator is so naive or gullible?
- How can we be sure that the narrator tells us everything that happens?
- Did you sympathize with the murderer more than his victim or even feel sorry for him?
- What do you think this story says about humanity and our capacity for compassion, empathy , kindness, and love—or its lack thereof?
- How does Poe use imagery to create suspense?
- What is the narrator’s motivation for killing the older man?
- How do we know that the narrator is a murderer from his first words?
- What does this story say about human nature?
- How does Poe create suspense?
- What does the narrator’s insanity tell us about his character?
- What are some of the other ways that Poe builds suspense?
Controversial Essay Topics on The Tell-Tale Heart
- The moral message behind this piece
- How effective are Poe’s descriptions?
- What is going on with this guy’s head? Is he crazy or just driven mad by guilt?
- What do you think the narrator’s motives are?
- Discuss how this story relates to psychology and psychiatry
- Has society changed since Poe’s time?
- Explain why the narrator is reliable.
- Why do you think Poe chose the setting of an old house at night?
- Describe the relationship between madness and sanity in this story.
- How does the narrator’s paranoia affect his ability to see things clearly and accurately?
- Does the narrator’s guilt over his crime cause him to go mad?
- Why does Poe choose to end the story with a loud beating heart?
- Explain the meaning of each of the following lines: “the beating of my own heart,” “I felt that my brain was becoming too powerful for me,” and “it grew upon me by degrees until it seemed to surround me on every side.”
- What is the significance of the character with the cough?
- What is your interpretation of the title The Tell-Tale Heart?
Compare and contrast Essay Topics on The Tell-Tale Heart
- Compare The Tell-Tale Heart with other short stories by Edgar Allan Poe.
- Compare The Tell-Tale Heart with another famous work that has influenced its interpretation today (i.e., Game of Thrones).
- Write about what makes this story so iconic in literature classes today.
- What do you think the primary emotion is in the story?
- How does Poe use his words to convey this feeling?
- How does the theme of guilt play out in both mindsets of the narrator and Rizzio’s character?
- What is the point of view of the story?
- How does Poe use his choice of words to convey this feeling?
- What do you think makes the narrator’s character so unique in literature?
- Why do you think Poe wrote this story?
- What do you think Poe was trying to say about human nature through this story?
- How does the setting affect the plot of The Tell-Tale Heart?
- What is the significance of using an old house as a setting?
- What does Poe mean by the term “soul-searing”?
- Are there any historical references or allusions in this tale?
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics for Kids
- Why does the narrator tell the police about his crime?
- Why does the narrator insist that he is telling the truth?
- What does the narrator say about himself when talking to the police?
- What does the narrator mean when he says: “Because I have to tell someone. I’ve got to get this off my chest”?
- What does the narrator mean when he says: “I just want you to know that me and Stella were happy together? We were very happy. And it wasn’t my fault what happened”?
- What does he mean when he says: “But what I’m saying is, if I hadn’t been there that night, it wouldn’t have happened. And Stella wouldn’t be dead now. So you see, I am responsible for her death”?
- Why does the narrator have to tell someone about his crime?
- What did the narrator lie about?
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics for Middle school
- How does the setting affect the main character and his actions?
- Is it possible to sympathize with someone who commits or plans to murder?
- In what ways do psychological forces play into this story before and after the crime?
- What is the significance of the tell-tale heart?
- What can be learned from this story about human nature and its dark side?
- What is the significance of the narrator’s confession?
- What is Poe trying to say about human nature in this story, and how does he express these ideas through imagery and figurative language?
- What does it mean to be a good person? What makes a person evil?
- How do we know when someone is lying?
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics for high school
- The significance of the title.
- Why is the narrator so obsessed with his victim’s eyes?
- How does Poe use language to create suspense and terror in this story?
- How exactly did Edgar Allen Poe build suspense?
- What do you think is happening in the story?
- How does this story compare with other works by Poe?
- What is the significance of the raven?
- What do you think Poe intended when he wrote this story?
- How does Poe’s use of Gothic fiction conventions influence the story?
- What is the significance of the narrator’s mental illness and death?
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics for college
- What examples of foreshadowing are present in this short story?
- How does Poe use diction to illustrate his theme of madness and obsession?
- What does the tale heart the narrator tells us about himself through his actions and words?
- How does the narrator’s obsession with the gold bug affect him?
- Discuss the theme of madness in Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart.
- Explain how the narrator was driven mad by guilt and fear.
- Discuss why the narrator killed his victim without any remorse or guilt.
- Analyze whether or not you think his actions were justified under these circumstances.
- The symbol of the evil eye in Edgar Allan Poe’s short telltale heart story
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay questions
- What is the significance of this story?
- How does it change your perspective on revenge?
- How does it make you feel about Poe’s other stories and work in general?
- How do the narrator’s tone and diction change throughout the story? What do these changes reveal about his character or attitude toward what happened?
- How would you characterize this short story as a whole?
- How does the author use diction and syntax to create a sense of mystery and intrigue?
- How does the story’s setting contribute to its overall tone, mood, or theme?
- What is your interpretation of the moral lesson that can be drawn from this story?
- How does this story relate to your own life?
- What do you think the author was trying to express through symbolism?
- How is “The Cask of Amontillado” similar or different from other Poe stories? Are these similarities or differences important in understanding the overarching theme?
- What does the narrator mean when he says: “You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work,”
Now that you know the best Tell-Tale Heart essay topics, it’s time to start! If you need more help, check out our blog post on how to write a good essay. If you have any questions or comments about this post, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
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The Tell Tale Heart Essay Topics & Examples
Looking for The Tell-Tale Heart essay topics? The short story by Edgar Allan Poe, a recognized master of horror fiction, is definitely worth analyzing!
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In your The Tell-Tale Heart essay, you might want to write about the story’s characters, themes, or symbols. Anyway, our article will be helpful. Find here all you might need to write a paper on Poe’s short story! The Tell-Tale Heart essay examples, prompts, questions, and topic ideas.
The Tell-Tale Heart Point of View Analysis
Poe wrote the novel from the first-person point of view. The protagonist tells the story of a murder while stating that his senses were destroyed by “the disease” but he’s still sane. Think why this might be important. Is the mad person’s narration reliable? How different would be the story if it were told by the old man or police officers?
Symbols in The Tell-Tale Heart
If you’re writing The Tell-Tale Heart symbolism essay, you may choose one or few symbols in the story:
- The old man’s eye. Analyze why the eye catches the attention of the killer. The narrator calls it the “vulture eye” and “evil. In your essay you can explain why the narrator does not dare to kill the old man when his eye was closed, and the crime was committed only when he saw the open eye.
- The old man’s heart. The heart in the novel symbolizes the killer’s conscience and his humanity as he finally confesses. Analyze why the narrator hears the heartbeat twice.
Another point to consider in your The Tell-Tale Heart essay is the analysis of the connection between time and heart. Time is compressed and stretched. It pulses as the heart. But time also symbolizes death and the killer acts as part of a watch. Thus, the heart in the novel symbolizes life, and, through time, it turns out to be a symbol of death.
The Tell-Tale Heart Literary Analysis
Typical academic articles are hard to read because of complex words and compound sentences. When you read Poe’s masterpieces, you read them quickly because the author writes in short sentences. Poe uses many figures of speech like similes, personification, anaphora, and irony. Analyze how these figures help Poe to convey the main idea to the reader.
The Tell-Tale Heart Characters
There are four characters you might want to explore in your character analysis: the narrator, police officers, the old man, and the neighbor. All of them play an important role in the plot. For example, the narrator is mentally ill person who doesn’t make a difference between the “unreal” and “real”. There are also a few signs that he rarely sleeps. You can analyze how his insomnia might impacted his actions and desire to kill.
- What is the theme of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What is the mood of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What genre is The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What is the conflict in The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What does the heart symbolize in The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What is the tone of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What is the central idea of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What point of view is The Tell-Tale Heart ?
If you’re looking for The Tell-Tale Heart essay topics or ideas to add to it, check IvyPanda’s free samples of high-quality papers!
- The Tell- Tale heart (1843) This section tackles the main characters of the story and as aforementioned, the narrator and the old man are the only central characters in the story.
- The Tell Tale Heart Essay However, when the police came to the Old Man’s house he gives himself away to the police because he hears the heart of the old man beating behind the floorboard and this incident may suggest […]
- Gothic Romanticism in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Nathaniel Hawthorn’s “The Birthmark” In the film “The Black Swan” directed by Darren Aronofsky, Nina struggles to fit into the ultimate role of the play “The Swan Lake”, as the Black Swan, even though she is comfortable playing the […]
- The Investigation of Ethical Issues in The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pond The secondary problem is related to an ethical dilemma with regards to the responsibility of the husband to provide and care for the family.
- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Poe This metaphor is necessary to show that the feeling of guilt distorts his perception of reality. This is one of the details that can be distinguished.
- The Tell-Tale Heart Psychological Analysis & Critique The outstanding character in the tale, who is also the narrator, attracts a lot of attention from the readers. The narrator forms the basis of the tale.
- Edger Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” Analysis The narrator in the beginning of the story clearly states that he is not insane but his actions make the reader frown at his sanity.
- The Murderer’s Motivation Depicted In Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart
- The Characters Of Nervousness In The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe
- Morality In Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart
- Paranoia In Prose An Analytical Treatment Of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”
- Stylistic Analysis Of The Tell Tale Heart Max Planck Gymnasium
- Sanity of the Narrator in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Poe’s Use of the Senses in The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell Tale Heart
- An Analysis of the Creating of an Atmosphere of Horror and Build Tension in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Writing Styles In The Tell Tale Heart By Edgary Allen Poe
- Stability of Characters in to Build a Fire and the Tell Tale Heart
- Styles of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge versus The Tell Tale Heart
- How Does Edgar Allen Poe Create A Feeling Of Madness Throughout The Tell Tale Heart
- The Inspiration From the Authors’ Lives in The Tell Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, and The Outsiders by S.E. Hilton
- Inescapable Truth: An Analysis Of The Tell Tale Heart
- Rationalization & Suspense In Poe’s “The Raven” & “The Tell Tale Heart”
- Identity As An Important Part Of The Tell Tale Heart
- Analysis of Symbolism in Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ and ‘The Tell Tale Heart’
- The Role of the Gaze in Poe’s the Tell Tale Heart
- How Does Edgar Allen Poe Create Tension in the Tell Tale Heart
- The Importance Of Suspense In The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe
- Creating Suspense In Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart
- Horror and Figurative Language in The Tell Tale Heart
- Imagery Through The Eye Of The Tell Tale Heart
- The Attempt to Prove a Man’s Sanity in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Literary Elements Of Edgar Allan Poe ‘s The Tell Tale Heart
- Role of Realism in Edagar Allan Poe´s The Tell Tale Heart
- Mental Challenges In The Tell Tale Heart
- The Themes of Surveillance and Control in Discipline and Punish by Michael Foucault and The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Psychosis And Guilt In The Tell Tale Heart
- The Narrator’s Story in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Misperceptions And The Tell Tale Heart Of Poe
- Similarities Between Edgar Allan Poe And The Tell Tale Heart
- The Tell tale Heart Mind Games The Narrators Madness
- How Effective Is Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart as a Gothic Horror
- Techniques Used In Writing The Tell Tale Heart And The Red Room
- Tension In Edgar Allen Poe´S The Tell Tale Heart And The Cask Of Amontillado
- Understanding Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart: Insanity Or A Stroke Of Brilliance
- A Comparison of the Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and the Work of Raymond Carver
- The Cast of Amontillado Vs The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Alan Poe
- Morality in Young Goodman Brown by Hawthorne and The Tell Tale Heart
- Internal And Internal Conflict In The Tell Tale Heart
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Everything begins with an idea!
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics
The telltale heart is one of the shortest stories ever published in the early 1840s. Edgar Allan Poe wrote the story and it tells of a man involved in the murder of a friend. The killer character killed his friend because he linked his eye to a vulture eye he had seen. It’s one of the most interesting gothic tale that’s both frightening and emotion triggering.
The gothic features or devices of the tell are the characters, setting, and time. The overall story setting is in a scary dark place. The killing happens in an older man’s home but inside the house of the victim. However, the story doesn’t give vivid details of whether the home was a plan residence or an apartment. The story setting is not just scary but also frightful, and will surely leave you scared.
In the story setting, the murder victim always entered the old man’s house when it was dark inside. The narrator describes the room as black as pitch covered in thick darkness. It’s quite an interesting story that opens up a whole lot of topics to be discussed. When writing essays on the telltale heart story, here are some topics you can use.
- The themes and message Edgar Allan Poe intended to bring to light in the Tell-tale heart story
- Edgar Allan Poe’s use of symbols in the telltale heart story
- Edgar Allan Poe’s use of stylistic devices in the telltale heart story
- Edgar Allan Poe’s display of horrifying madness in the short telltale heart story
- Edgar Allan Poe’s use of imagery and irony in the short telltale heart story
- Edgar Allan Poe’s use of suspense in his masterpiece short story the telltale heart
- The symbol of the evil eye in Edgar Allan Poe’s short telltale heart story
- How Edgar Allan Poe portrays reality and illusions in the short telltale heart story
- The undisclosed mystery in Edgar Allan Poe’s masterpiece telltale heart
- The devices and techniques used by telltale heart writer Edgar Allen Power to reproduce the feeling of madness
- The themes of craziness and paranoia as portrayed in Edgar Allan Poe’s telltale heart story
- The implication of the beating heart in Edgar Allan Poe’s telltale heart story
- The elements used by Edgar Allan Poe in his short story telltale heart to portray hidden irony
- Who does Edgar Allan Poe portray as mysterious in the short story telltale heart?
- The themes of fear, terror and horror in the short story telltale heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- The motives of the murder as described by the short story telltale heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- The tone Edgar Allan Poe introduces in the first paragraph of the short story telltale heart
- Does the murderer in the short story telltale heart by Edgar Allan Poe have schizophrenia or the split personality disorder?
- The use of zoomorphism by Edgar Allan Poe in the short story telltale heart to portray the evilness of the eyes of the murder victim
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The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Topics
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Questions
- What Is the Theme of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What Is the Mood of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What Genre Is The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What Is the Conflict in The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What Does the Heart Symbolize in The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What Is the Tone of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What is the central idea of The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- What point of view is The Tell-Tale Heart ?
- The Murderer’s Motivation Depicted In Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Characters of Nervousness In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe
- Morality In Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart
- Paranoia In Prose An Analytical Treatment of Edgar Allan Poe’s “ The Tell-Tale Heart ”
- Stylistic Analysis of The Tell-Tale Heart Max Planck Gymnasium
- Sanity of the Narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Poe’s Use of the Senses in The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart
- An Analysis of the Creating of an Atmosphere of Horror and Build Tension in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Writing Styles In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgary Allen Poe
- Stability of Characters in To Build a Fire and the Tell Tale Heart
- Styles of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge versus The Tell-Tale Heart
- How Does Edgar Allen Poe Create A Feeling of Madness Throughout The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Inspiration From the Authors’ Lives in The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, and The Outsiders by S.E. Hilton
- Inescapable Truth: An Analysis of The Tell-Tale Heart
- Rationalization & Suspense In Poe’s “The Raven” & “ The Tell-Tale Heart ”
- Identity As An Important Part of The Tell-Tale Heart
- Analysis of Symbolism in Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ and ‘ The Tell-Tale Heart ’
- The Role of the Gaze in Poe’s the Tell Tale Heart
- How Does Edgar Allen Poe Create Tension in the Tell Tale Heart
The Tell-Tale Heart Essay Examples
- The Importance of Suspense In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe
- Creating Suspense In Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart
- Horror and Figurative Language in The Tell-Tale Heart
- Imagery Through The Eye of The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Attempt to Prove a Man’s Sanity in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Literary Elements of Edgar Allan Poe ‘s The Tell-Tale Heart
- Role of Realism in Edagar Allan Poe´s The Tell-Tale Heart
- Mental Challenges In The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Themes of Surveillance and Control in Discipline and Punish by Michael Foucault and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Psychosis And Guilt In The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Narrator’s Story in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Misperceptions And The Tell-Tale Heart of Poe
- Similarities Between Edgar Allan Poe And The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Tell-tale Heart Mind Games The Narrators Madness
- How Effective Is Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart as a Gothic Horror
- Techniques Used In Writing The Tell-Tale Heart And The Red Room
- Tension In Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart And The Cask of Amontillado
- Understanding Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart : Insanity Or A Stroke of Brilliance
- A Comparison of the Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and the Work of Raymond Carver
- The Cast of Amontillado Vs The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Alan Poe
- Morality in Young Goodman Brown by Hawthorne and The Tell-Tale Heart
- Internal And Internal Conflict In The Tell-Tale Heart
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The Tell-Tale Heart Essays
The tell-tale heart: the greatness of insanity.
Edgar Allan Poe, a worldwide renowned author, lived a short, yet otherworldly life, and made a prosperous living writing his iconic themes of horror, murder, and mystery, all recognized throughout his famous short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” In Poe’s, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” he does not specifically characterize the narrator’s gender, contradicting the motive to kill and murder the old man. The reader assumes that the narrator is a male due to the violent tendencies displayed throughout the text, such as […]
The Tell-Tale Heart
The story the Tale Tell heart is about an old man’s eye who vexed the narrator so the narrator watch the old sleep for a week, this convinces the reader that the narrator is a calculated killer by the steps and precautions he takes to kill the old man. The narrator is a calculated killer by, not making a sound well killing the old man, second by dismembering the body with out a single drop of blood, and lastly by, […]
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The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis
The short story The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, starts with the narrator muttering to himself and the audience. The narrator begins to talk about the old man with a vulture’s eye (evil eye) who makes the narrator’s blood run cold. The narrator very gradually comes up with a plan to kill the old man. The narrator kills the old man by suffocating him to death and ultimately ridding himself of the evil eye. Next, the narrator chops up […]
The Tell-Tale Heart Plot Summary
Edgar Allen Poe indicates how a man’s inward unsettling influence and fear can make him insane through the illustrative tongue, astounding characters, and an amazing plot. As it’s for the most part the circumstance with first individual records, there are various settings to the story. The movement of this portrayed story occurs in the house the storyteller gives to the old man. Meanwhile, the storyteller is describing the story from either a correctional facility or an insane sanctuary where he […]
“The Tell-Tale Heart” (gothic Elements)
Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart” has a common theme of psychosis. Psychosis is a very prominent theme seen all throughout the story. It makes the whole story have plot twist after plot twist. The reason for such psychosis is because the narrator lets it completely take over, to a point where he can only become more psychotic. In “The Tell- Tale Heart”, the narrator simply commits a crime due to the fact that he cannot stand the […]
Insanity in the Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe wrote the Gothic fiction short story The Tell-Tale Heart in 1843 at the age of thirty-four. This story is about the insanity-driven murder of an innocent old man. The story only contains six characters, three of which are police officers. The story is told from the perspective of the murderer himself. It follows him through the events leading up to the murder, the act of the murder, and the events after the murder. As he narrates the […]
Insanity and Mental Illness in the Tell-Tale Heart
Insanity is a mental problem typically characterized by various abnormal behaviors. This abnormality can contribute to the violation of conventional behavior in society making the victim become a possible threat to himself and others. Individuals who bear this habit tend to pass a certain message to others about themselves. In Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, the reader will discover that the unnamed narrator of the story displays obvious signs of insanity and mental illness. The dictionary defines insanity as unsoundness or […]
Tell-Tale Heart: Reliability of the Narrator
Is the Narrator in Tell-Tale Heart Reliable or Unreliable? While reading Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Tell-Tale Heart, I found myself instantly questioning the credibility of the narrator and whether the events he was explaining were really happening or just a vivid descriptions of his imagination. Throughout the story, the narrator spoke with defensiveness and panic which ultimately made me question the validity and truth in what was being told. Upon completion of the story, I was completely convinced that the […]
The Narrator in the Tell-Tale Heart
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe is being told by a narrator who is angry. The narrator tells all his motives from the beginning by addressing his issue of the old man’s eye to the reader. The story he tells is based on his view to defend his place even though he insists that he’s not crazy, but his actions say it all. The narrator spends many nights watching the man sleep. On the last night the narrator wakes […]
The Narrator’s Character in the Tell-Tale Heart
I have been reading The Tell- Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, published in 1850. When I first read Tell-Tale Heart, my very first thought was this man is insane. He states that he killed an old man, he did not kill this old man because he pissed him off or because he wanted his money, he states that he loved this man and he never has done any harm to him. He states that he killed this old man […]
The Narrative Style & Structure of “The Tell-Tale Heart”
An unstable narrator is tortured, and when he can no longer take it and has reached the breaking point, the man murders his master. This is the out-of-control conflict created in Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, Tell-Tale Heart. The short story is published in 1843 and gives a better understanding of what an insane person is capable of. Edgar Allan Poe focuses part of his literature on the genre of horror to force many to take it more serious […]
The Narrative Style and Structure of “The Tell-Tale Heart”
In the same way as other of Edgar Allan Poe’s different works, “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a dull story published in 1843. This specific one spotlights on the occasions driving the demise of an old man, and the occasions thereafter. That is the nuts and bolts of it, yet there are numerous profound implications covered up in the three-page short story. Poe utilizes procedures, for example, first-individual account, incongruity, and style to pull off a trustworthy feeling of suspicion. In […]
Compare and Contrast Essay on Tell Tale Heart and the Cask of Amontillado
The works of Edgar Allan Poe including The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell Tale Heart show a much darker and sinister side of the human spirit compared to the selfless, humanitarian stories of O. Henry’s The GIft of the Magi and James Hurst’s The Scarlet Ibis. They are very similar in many ways. From the plot being the same, from the same lonely settings. The characters and symbols line up almost perfectly. The similarities to the stories are a […]
Obsession in “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe
If your like the rest of us humans, you must have felt so guilty about a situation that you had to divulge about what you did. Edgar Allan Poe, American writer and poet, illustrates in his story The Tell-Tale Heart, how an obsession can drive you to do things that you will only regret in the long run. He then portrays how one’s guilt can ultimately lead to a lack of consciousness therefore pressuring them into confession. Poe shows us […]
Tell Tale Heart & Black Cat
In Tell Tale Heart, there is a man who is crazy but thinks he isn’t and he insists on his sanity after murdering an old man with a “vulture eye. He thinks his eye is evil because it has cataracts. The murder was carefully planned and covered up well. The murderer hides the body by cutting it into pieces and hiding it under the floorboards. In The Black Cat, there is a man who is feeling guilty after the murder […]
Analysis of Tell Tale Heart
Humans perception on reality is very much varied. All of us are placed into specific lifestyles that end up playing a huge role on whom we become. Which makes every individual different therefore no one is the same. But each go through inner conflicts by themselves. Ginsberg noticed in the 1950’s that across our country each human goes through various amounts of conflicts and insanity’s. The events that takes place in a person’s life correlate to how one may become. […]
Literary Analysis of Tell Tale Heart
Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale heart illustrates that guilt is a powerful motivating factor behind an individual’s actions. Symbolism, tone, and the content of the short story all interact with one another and work together to create certain effects and meanings within the short story. This short story shows how guilt can overwhelm and conquer the mind, which in turn led to the confession of the homicide the narrator committed and revealed at the end of the story. Poe describes the […]
Sickness should not be taken lightly, but acted on quickly. Edgar Allen Poe is the creator of the story, “Tell Tale Heart,” where the main character’s actions are distinct from what a healthy minded person would do. When analyzing the story “Tell Tale Heart,” it is apparent that schizophrenia, severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and anxiety disorder caused the protagonist to behave the way he did.
To first start off, the main character , the narrator recounts his murder of an old man in an effort to prove his sanity, but in reality it is schizophrenia that is damaging his view of reality, which caused him to commit the murder. The old man that was murdered, lives with the narrator and he becomes a victim when his “evil eye” begins to drive the narrator insane. In the story it states, “why will you say I am mad? 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.” He hears things that others do not hear, and he believes that people are out to get him. One example is that in the end, he hears the beating of a dead old man’s heart. The narrator isn’t thinking clearly and schizophrenia has caused him to envision false things. Schizophrenia is just one of the many mental disorders contributing to his illusions, there are many more.
Severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is also spotted in the short story as well. OCD is having a tendency towards excessive orderliness, perfectionism, and great attention to detail. In the, “Tell Tale Heart,” the narrator shows signs of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when in the story it is stated, “And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it –oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. The narrator sees the old man’s eye in a way that makes the eyes seem as a separate person. He was persistent and checked every night to see if the old man’s eye was open or not. The narrator was meticulous and orchestrated a perfect murder that if it weren’t him that turned himself in, the police would of never known that it was him who committed the crime.
Anxiety is an illness present in the “Tell Tale Heart” short story because anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. This is shown when it states, “Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work,” emphasising that if he were “crazy” like people assume he is then he wouldn’t have accomplished a perfect murder. This shows that the narrator thinks he has a healthy mind but the reader is aware by the manner in which he describes the plan to murder the old man that he has anxiety. Another example is that he tells the story in first person , “ It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain,” and screams at the reader in a unusual manner, claiming that he isn’t mentally challenged.
When analyzing the story “Tell Tale Heart,” it is apparent that schizophrenia, severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and anxiety disorder caused the protagonist to behave the way he did. Sometimes it is up to you to seek help because sickness is a serious matter and one wrong decision made because of an illness can turn your whole world upside in a matter of seconds.
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Essays on The Tell Tale Heart
Table of Contents
About ‘the tell tale heart’ story.
The Tell Tale Heart comes in the genre of short gothic horror stories written by Edgar Allan Poe, an American writer; it was published in 1843 in one of the leading papers, The Pioneer. The story was narrated by an unknown person who acts like a homicidal madman.
The story blends fiction and horror in a very particular way; that is why it can secure the author’s reputation as a master of macabre. The narrator plots an interesting twist. At one end, he can get an influential audience about his sanity, and at the other end, he describes a murder that the narrator committed.
Despite telling about what makes him kill a person, the narrator emphasizes that at the end of the tell tale heart essay, the narrator heard a thumping sound from the body’s heart while he was hiding it.
The tell-tale heart is a short fiction horror story narrated by an unnamed narrator who suffers from a rare nervousness disease. The narrator lives with an older man who has a vulture-like blue color eye, which triggers the narrator’s anxiety and he plans to murder the older man.
Although the narrator has no problem with the older man, the narrator loves him, but somehow the sight of the vulture-like eye influences the narrator. The narrator opens the older man’s door for seven nights to shine a silver light on the evil eye, but the eye remains closed, further distressing the narrator.
However, the older man opened his eye on the eighth night, and the narrator heard the older man’s heart beating. The voice gets louder and louder, making it unbearable for the narrator. Therefore, the narrator aims at the older man and kills him; before dying, the older man screams, making the neighbor curious and calling the police.
But before the police or neighbor come, the narrator hides the body under a floorboard; when the police and neighbor find nothing, they leave, but the narrator starts listening to the same thumping sound that he heard when the older man was alive. The sound increases drastically, which compels the narrator to tell the police about the older man’s body under the floorboard, and the narrator confesses out of guilt. The tell tale heart essay examples portray the exact scenario of how the narrator confesses about the murder.
‘The Tell Tale Heart’ characters:
The tell-tale heart is a short gothic fiction story with very few or limited characters; these characters can comprise the tell-tale heart essay questions. Below are the details of these characters.
The Narrator: The main character of the story suffers from hypersensitivity, aware of his insane thoughts, but the narrator justifies them as sane because he can use careful measures, use better strategy and think intelligently. The narrator distresses by the older man’s eye; it triggers his anxiety and compels him to plot against the older man and murder him. Eventually, the narrator kills the older man, but the sound of his heartbeats still gets louder and louder in the narrator’s ear, which makes him confess to the murder.
The Old Man: The older man remains a mysterious character in the story. However, he had good terms with the narrator and is a good person; his ugly vulture-like eye triggers the narrator’s anxiety. He lives alone in his room, making it easier for the narrator to kill him. There are not many details of the older man’s life except this.
Police officers: The three policemen that come after the narrator’s call of suspicious scream investigate the whole scene but find nothing, they end up talking to a neighbor for a considerable time, but in the end, the narrator confesses about the murder due to the thumping sound which he hears getting louder and louder. The police officers recover the older man’s body from the floorboard of the older man’s room.
‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ quotes
The quotes can be added to the tell tale heart essay questions, as they remain mysterious till the very end of the story. Famous quotes from the tell-tale hearts are:
- “But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee.”
- “It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but it haunted me day and night once conceived.”
- “Now, this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded…”
- “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
- “Have we, in the teeth of our best judgment, not a perpetual inclination to violate that which is Law merely because we understand it to be such?”
- “I smiled—for what had I to fear?”
Essay Structure on ‘the Tell Tale Heart’’:
The tell-tale essay structure comprises the introduction, body, and conclusion of the three basic essay fundamentals. The essay topics for the tell-tale heart , just like other essays, start with the outline and then break down into the basics. Here are some details:
The introduction is the part of the essay that can make or break the essay; it gives the writer’s perspective to the audience and, if well-written, grabs the reader’s attention, which is necessary for an effective essay. It briefly explains the essay, topic, and theme and ends with a thesis statement reflecting the theme and writer’s argument. It also makes the audience thinks about the tell tale heart essay conclusion.
The body paragraphs hold all the details, the writer’s support elements, facts, figures, research references, and any other sources that the writer uses to back his arguments. Usually, it consists of multiple paragraphs, but in an ideal scenario, it can be three. The paragraphs in the essay need to be connected and relevant to each other; it can be done by using the transitioning phrases at the end of paragraphs.
The conclusion of the essay contains the findings and results of the writer. Whether the writer can support the argument, he made at the very start of the essay, or it’s the other way around. The conclusion starts with the argument or thesis statement, then the writer brief about the topic, and at the end final verdict. Keep the conclusion short and avoid using any irrelevant new information.
Tips to Consider While Writing An essay about ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’:
A few tips that help and benefit the writers while writing about the tell-tale heart are as follows. These tips help you draft good academic writing and provide the basic essay writings fundamentals.
Read the Book Thoroughly:
If you are writing about a selected topic from any book, it is better to read the book first and start writing your essay. It may seem okay to start writing without reading the book properly, but there are certain details in the book that you will know only after reading it thoroughly. It helps you cover all aspects of the book and provides enough material to support your argument or point of view.
Find a Compelling Topic:
A compelling topic is important in gaining the audience’s attention and making them read your essay; it is considered the first step in attracting the reader’s attention. Finding a compelling topic is tough, especially when writing a book essay; therefore, follow the following methods to find a good one for your essay.
- Start your essay once you finish reading the book, know all about it, and finish it. Now read your essay and figure out the information and theme you are implying; go with it. Undoubtedly, it can be a potential topic for your essay.
- The essay’s theme and writer’s argument are stated in the thesis statement, making a compelling topic for your essay.
- The essay topic can be short or long, depending on the details and relevance.
Create the outline:
Creating an outline for your essay simplifies your work and helps maintain your focus in creating an effective essay. The essay on tell-tale heart outline includes all the information the writer wants to mention in the essay; once all the detail is gathered, prioritize them and place the relevant information under relevant headings. It also saves time and helps you include all the key elements in your essay.
Write the Thesis Statement:
The thesis statement can differ depending on a person’s thought process and perspective. But the structure and purpose remain the same: it contains the writer’s theme and main argument. A thesis statement of the tell-tale heart can be of psychotic challenges that a person faces and its consequences or guilt and other emotions that expose the true face of a person.
Include a lesson or moral:
Draft your essay in a way that it must include a lesson or moral for the readers; in this way, the readers feel more connected to the essay, and also it serves the purpose the adding value to your writing. The essay’s tell-tale heart can include many lessons or morals. Include a lesson or moral value that adds to the effectiveness of your writing process. The lessons are to prioritize your mental health, don’t kill or do something that feeds your inner demon, and think before doing any hard task because guilt will chase you forever.
Conclusion: Proofread your work:
Make it a habit to proofread the work once you finish; it benefits you in multiple ways. You can assess your writing from the reader’s point of view and add or subtract pieces that don’t fit properly. It also helps in removing errors and grammatical mistakes from your essay. Keep your conclusion related to your topic, don’t add new information in the conclusion section.
What Is The Theme Of The Tell-Tale Heart?
Multiple main themes fit in the definition: madness or sanity, mental health, and control, guilt and consequences, and the relation between one’s fears and how they drive a person.
What Is The Mood Of The Tell-Tale Heart?
The tell-tale heart comes in the gothic fiction genre, which depicts its mood as creepy, scary, overtly sad, and described as manic, agitated, and defensive.
What Is The Conflict In The Tell-Tale Heart?
The main conflict was between the narrator and his inner self, how his inner voices could lead him to do things that bring shame and guilt to him in the end.
What Does The Heart Symbolize In The Tell-Tale Heart?
The heart symbolizes the emotions and deep and darker state of human nature that often neglects the outcomes and makes the man suffers from its consequences.
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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Books — The Tell Tale Heart
Essays on The Tell Tale Heart
Review of "the tell-tale heart" short story by edgar allan poe, the issue of the insane narrator in "the tell-tale heart", the narrator’s insanity and guilt in the tell tale heart, analysis of the psychological side of the tell tale heart, my review of edgar allan poe’s "the tell-tale heart", the narrator’s sentence and punishment in the tell-tale heart by edgar allan poe, guilt and madness in the tell-tale heart and macbeth, poe’s message in the tell-tale heart, edgar allan poe’s use of literary techniques in the tell-tale heart, a theme of overconfidence in the tell tale heart, the use similes, strong irony, and imagery in "the tell-tale heart", how does "the tell-tale heart" relate to poe's life, analysis of the tell-tale heart, summary of the tell-tale heart, the use of different literary elements in "the tell-tale heart", the point of view of the tell-tale heart, depiction of madness in "berenice" and "the tell-tale heart" by edgar allen poe, overwhelming obsession in "the tell-tale heart" and "the black cat", a report on the tell-tale heart by edgar allan poe, poe’s use of literary techniques in the tell-tale heart, symbolism in poe and hawthorne's works, narration style in "the tell-tale heart" by edgar allan poe, analysis of the connection of the tell-tale heart, the scarlet ibis, and to kill a mockingbird, the tell-tale heart: the influence of poe’s childhood on his writing, mood comparison in "the tell-tale heart" and "the yellow wallpaper".
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1843, Edgar Allan Poe
Short story; Horror Fiction
The Narrator, The Old Man, the 3 Policemen, a neighbor
Inspired by the murder of Joseph White of Salem, Massachusetts.
Murder, horror, fear, criminal. The symbols also include The Eye, which represents an awareness, The Heart stands for intelligence, the Blue Eyes as the listener, and the House, which is the sense of guilt.
It is a classic horror story that tells about illustration, effective composition, and the power of the short story. It is also an example of confession and the state of madness. In a certain sense, it can be disputed regarding the sanity of the main protagonist, which even makes this short story even more influential.
The short story revolves around the man who wants to murder another person, yet strives for not getting caught or punished. It is the story of the perfect crime that fails. The killer in the story is never seen, yet only felt. It tells about the deranged border agent who wants to kill the landlord but not because of money or greed. It has a complex psychology dealing with the "evil eye", which also stands for the truth.
It is unclear whether the old man is the father figure since we do not know if he and the killer are related. This short story is considered a classic example of the Gothic fiction genre. The reason behind this story's popularity is a great hook when a man confesses about planning a murder. The story has not been considered a success when it has been first published. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has been particularly inspired by this story's writing style. The Poe himself called his psychological torment style an "Arabesque". The Tell-Tale heart also symbolizes the complex relationship between the guilt and innocence.
"It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night." "Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded—with what caution—with what foresight—with what dissimulation I went to work!" "And this I did for seven long nights—every night just at midnight—but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye." "It was open—wide, wide open—and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness—all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot." "Almighty God!—no, no! They heard!—they suspected!—they knew!—they were making a mockery of my horror!—this I thought, and this I think."
It is the madness and the fear of punishment. The short story goes quite deep in terms of things that take place inside the criminal's mind, which is why it is a great analytical literary example. One can assume that we talk about disorganized schizophrenia, speaking of a mental disease.
Since it has been one of the most popular criminal stories to ever grace the literary works written in English, this short story can be used as the essay topic dealing with the guilt, innocence, planning something bad, finding punishment, and seeking attention. It can also be used as the allegory for prejudice and anger. It is read in high school and colleges because it also has a great composition and suspense structure.
The conclusion tells about complete insanity of the narrator as the description of the murder in detail is represented. The moral lesson is that one cannot hide from one's conscience.
1. Robinson, E. A. (1965). Poe's" The Tell-Tale Heart". Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 19(4), 369-378. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/2932876) 2. Shen, D. (2008). Edgar Allan Poe's Aesthetic Theory, the Insanity Debate, and the Ethically Oriented Dynamics of “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Nineteenth-Century Literature, 63(3), 321-345. (https://online.ucpress.edu/ncl/article/63/3/321/67842/Edgar-Allan-Poe-s-Aesthetic-Theory-the-Insanity) 3. Pritchard, H. (2003). Poe's the Tell-Tale Heart. The Explicator, 61(3), 144-147. (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00144940309597787?journalCode=vexp20) 4. Person, L. S. (2008). Queer Poe: The tell-tale heart of his fiction. Poe Studies, 41(1), 7-30. (https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/1/article/509582/summary) 5. Toikkanen, J. (2017). Auditory Images in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Tell-Tale Heart”. The Edgar Allan Poe Review, 18(1), 39-53. (https://scholarlypublishingcollective.org/psup/edgar-allan-poe/article-abstract/18/1/39/200624/Auditory-Images-in-Edgar-Allan-Poe-s-The-Tell-Tale) 6. Pitcher, E. W. (1979). The Physiognomical Meaning of Poe's" The Tell-Tale Heart". Studies in Short Fiction, 16(3), 231. (https://www.proquest.com/docview/1297934226?pq-origsite=gscholar&fromopenview=true) 7. Bynum, P. M. (1989). Observe How Healthily—How Calmly I Can Tell You the Whole Story”: Moral Insanity and Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart. Literature and Science as Modes of Expression, 141-152. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-009-2297-6_8) 8. Alsahafi, M. (2020). A Narrative Discourse Analysis of Poe's Short Story" The Tell-Tale Heart": Implications for Language Teaching. English Language Teaching, 13(1), 1-17. (https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1239146)
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