The Symbolism and Theme of Incest in Gothic Fiction

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Most people would agree that Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale heart" is a story about how guilt can consume one’s life and that the truth provides a sense of satisfaction. However, how much are we diagnosing what Poe was trying to tell us? This story is about a gothic examination of a type of unexpected sexuality that Poe found too horrifying to tell the audience, keeping in mind that this type of incest (father-son) had not found itself in literature in the 1850's. Poe, which married his 13-year-old first cousin, dabbles with a lot of intimation of incestuous union between sibling in “The Fall of the House of Usher” but never father and son (it was considered extremely taboo.) For that reason, Poe tells a story in which the disturbing act of father-son incest is reenacted without being uncovered to his audience became his only outlet. There are a lot of passages in this story that would tell you more than what you are actual reading. This story makes you read between the lines, interpreting what Poe is trying to tell you by making you look at this story from the young man (narrator) point of view, making you search for more and intrigues you to try to crack what is really going on. Before Poe starts on this rampage of subtext and implicit meaning, he starts the short story’s first sentence with (True! –nervous—very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?) telling you exactly what he wants you to get out of this double telling story by implying that he is still nervous about something, but he is not crazy, despite committing murder for no apparent reason other than the fact that he didn’t like the old man’s “vulture eye.” Poe tells a story that on the surface appears to be more plain and visible than what it really is. Some people try to go a little deeper, deciphering what the narrator is trying to tell the audience and

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