Guilt in a Heartbeat

Published: 2021-07-21 13:50:08
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Category: Guilt

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Guilt in a Heartbeat Through the heart beat from the Tell-Tale Heart Edgar Allan Poe shows that all bad deeds come with endless guilt. This short story illustrates that the obsession of the narrator, who is an everyday man, drives him to commit murder to an old man that has done no harm nor insult the narrator. This also goes to show that a man’s conscience can be his own enemy. The Tell-Tale Heart explores various ideas that reassure the insanity that drove the narrator to commit unjustified murder, and the narrator provides this information by describing what kind of character he is.
Poe also writes in a very effective point of view that allows the audience to understand completely all the narrators transitions, then the audience is able to see how the setting of the story fits perfectly in this story, finally Poe is able to create various symbolisms injected in the story that justify the narrator’s actions. The narrator does not reveal a specific name, but does reveal that he is a care giver to the old man which is the only identity given in the short story.
Through the short story it’s shown that the narrator is not a dynamic character, because at the beginning of the story he is insane and at the end he is still insane, which reveals that the character has no change or growth throughout the whole story. But the only part where he develops a kind of change and growth is when the narrator hears the corpse’s heartbeat from beneath the floor he screams in agony saying “Villains! Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! —here, here! —it is the beating of his hideous heart! (Poe 18) which makes him a conscious of the big mistake and horrible crime he has committed. This small change and growth of the main character is very visible in the story due to the point of view that the story is being told. The point of view of the story is very effective because the Tell-Tale Heart is written in first person. The narrator is the main character in the story, which allows the reader to explore and view in a deeper way the feelings, thoughts, and macabre imaginations of him.



The narrator also helps the reader understand in which moment the story is being told because the story begins in the middle where the narrator is trying to convince the police man that he has done no wrong in the house and trying to make them believe that the old man is in vacations out of the country. The point of view takes us to see the setting of the story that helps the narrator to feel more comfortable. The setting of the story is very important.
The narrator has a comfortable way of walking through the house like it was his own. What shows that he is comfortable is that he takes a full hour to open the door just enough to fit his head, which makes him seem very insane with an obsession that is not letting him go to sleep or at least not spy to the old man. The house allows the narrator to create a darker atmosphere in which he is able to kill, dismember, and bury the old man’s body.
The nature of each character is very different, because the old man with a helpless nature is not able to take care of himself, or even live by himself. On the contrary the narrator reveals himself to be a selfish, crazy, and a lonely person that is not able to coexist well with other people. Edgar Allan Poe was able to give great symbols in the Tell-Tale Heart. The “vulture” eye is what starts driving the narrator insane, because the narrator does not have interest in the old men’s money nor has the old man done bad to the narrator.
The eye symbolizes the obsession the narrator has, which indicates the insanity and craziness of him. The caution that the narrator has while going into the old man’s room symbolizes that the narrator has a true obsession over the old man’s eye. The narrator has a goal and he will do anything to complete the murder. The narrator cannot even sleep or do his regular duties just to be thinking and being horrified by the old man’s vulture eye.
The last symbol that it was in this short story is the heart beat at the end of the story where he hears a heartbeat through the wooden floor while the policemen are there. That symbolizes his guilt where he finds himself feeling bad and rather to be dead than to keep listening to the olds man’s heart that it is buried under the floor he expresses this by screaming “But anything was better than this agony” and “I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! ” (Poe 17).
The human mind can be a wonderful and terrible thing. People are soon to forget the good but continue to be haunted by the bad. The narrator’s mind did not allow him to forget the deeds that he was just recently so proud of. They haunted him by means of a beating heart, that although was only in his mind, he believed it was real. Work Cited Poe, Edgar A. The Tell-Tale Heart. 2010. Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. By X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson-Longman, 2010. 36-40. Print.

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