Tricks Of The Mind In Edgar Allen Poe’s Gothic Novel Tale Tell Hearts

August 10, 2021 by Essay Writer

In Tale Tell Hearts Edgar Allen Poe shows how an individual’s mind and fear can make him go crazy through creative language, and interesting characters.

This story is told with first-person point of view there are multiple settings to the story. The action of this story resides in the house the story teller shares with the old man. But at the same time, the story teller is sharing the story from an insane asylum where he is being held. But what is even more crazy, the setting is really inside the crazy head of the story teller himself, for the climax of the story he is hearing the beat of the dead man’s heart which takes place in his own messed up imagination.

The illustrations of the characters is vital in the plot, without strong and bold characters, the ideas the author uses would seem bland. Poe creates deep minded characters which assists the creation of the plot and ideas. There are four characters in the novel. The unnamed story tellers, the old man who was killed, the next door neighbor who phoned the cops and the police who came to the scene. The story teller really tried hard to cover up how crazy he is and show that he is perfectly fine with the purpose to not get caught by the old man. The old man with a blue eye that the story teller is scared to death of, is supposedly the owner of the house, he is innocent and unaware of what the story teller is doing.

Nothing the story teller tells the reader about the old man fits the definition of insanity, but it fits the story tellers definition perfectly as he says “Madmen know nothing”. The story is not just built on the physical settings shown, but the mental picture of the narrator is also an intriguing thing to learn about. The story teller is happy and confident about the killing of the old man, he was flaunting how perfect his plan was to the readers. After killing the old man, he seemed very normal and calm, he met with the cops without being noticeably nervous. But as the conversation went on he got more nervous because of the old man’s heart beat, which very well could be his imagination, and in turn faced his emotional collapse.

Tell Tale Hearts was published in 1843, which would become one of Poe’s best works. This story is considered to be in the gothic fiction genre. Poe’s life was filled with heartbreak and hardships. Which is why many believe that is what gave him the skills to be able to write something like this. His ability to transfer emotions from paper to the reader is amazing.

This among many other reasons is why Poe’s stories are still published today. In many of Poe’s works there is a lack of detail, which in turn allows the reader to imagine the scenario in their head giving deeper meaning and in turn makes the novel stick in your head a lot longer than a normal story. In this story the narrator ends up telling on himself to the police, because when the police were searching the home the mind of the narrator went crazy believing the old man’s heartbeat was so loud the police would hear it and find the body. Poe demonstrates to us that when exposed to fear and stressful situations the mind can make us do irrational things without having a clue as to why we did what we did.


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