The Tell-Tale Heart: a Commentary on Point of View

902 Words4 Pages
An author may utilize many different methods in order to convey major themes to readers in his or her work of literature. Aspects such as the point of view, simplicity, and the setting can aid the author in conveying messages to the readers. Edgar Allan Poe uses these aspects to tell a story of murder and the paranoia that accompanies that crime in his short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Not only do the methods enhance the story, but they also aid in the reader being able to connect with the tale. “The Tell-Tale Heart,” opens with the main character, who is also the narrator, describing how he had decided to take the life of an old man with a peculiar pale blue eye. The narrator, who is nameless, explains how the man’s pale, blue, vulture-like eye made his blood run cold and haunted him until he eventually came to the decision to kill the man. Every night, the narrator would creep into the man’s house to spy on him while he slept. However, on the eighth night that he did this, the man is awakened by a noise that the narrator made while observing him in his sleep. On this night, the narrator, hearing the intensity of his victim’s heartbeat, killed the old man by smothering him with his bed. He had feared that the neighbors would have been able to hear the old man’s frantic heartbeat as he waited to see the intruder of his house. After the narrator kills the man, he dismembers the body and hides it under the floorboards of the bedroom in which he was killed. No traces are left of the murder, and the officers who investigate the house do not discover anything out of the ordinary when there the next morning. However, the narrator’s paranoia over the dead man’s ‘beating heart’ is his downfall. The narrator believes that he can still hear the heart beating below the floorboards, and he cannot understand why the officers in the same room are not able to hear it.

More about The Tell-Tale Heart: a Commentary on Point of View

Open Document