Feb 14, 2011

Short Story of The Week (27) - The Tell-Tale Heart

Story Title: The Tell-Tale Heart
Author: Edgar Allan Poe


An unnamed narrator decides to murder an old man. 

Favorite Line

"Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant."

My Thoughts

I don't read Poe as often as I really should. The thing with most Edgar Allan Poe stories, is that when you sit down to read them you have to be prepared to think through a ton symbolism. That is what makes them awesome, but at the same time I have to be in the right mood for it. The Tell-Tale Heart however is pretty straight forward. It focuses far more on the mind of the killer than anything else. 

It's very interesting how the narrator keeps trying to convince the audience that he is sane, but suffering from a nervous disease that causes him to kill. I don't care what anyone says if you kill someone, dismember them, and then hear their dead heart beating under the floor boards, you've lost your marbles. I thought it was a great choice that Poe left out a couple of details. For example: The reader doesn't know for sure if the narrator is male or female. I mean it's most likely a male, but still the fact that you don't know for sure is intriguing. The other detail that is carefully veiled is what the old man is to the narrator. You assume that is it is a father figure, but it could be an employer. The things left out of the story some how made it more suspenseful.  As if it needed to be more suspenseful. It's beautifully creepifying point of view on paranoia. I loved it. Everyone should read it at least once. 

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