The Tell-Tale Heart | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis & critique of The Tell-Tale Heart.
This section contains 1,094 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John W. Canario

SOURCE: "The Dream in 'The Tell-Tale Heart,'" English Language Notes, Vol. VII, No. 3, March, 1970, pp. 194-97.

In the following essay, Canario discusses "The Tell-Tale Heart" as the narration of a dream, with its sense of intermingled clarity and obscurity, along with its increasing implausibility.

 All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
—E. A. Poe

Hervey Allen observed in a footnote to Israfel that the logic of Poe's stories is "the mad rationalization of a dream."1 This observation is especially applicable to "The Tell-Tale Heart," which becomes fully understandable only when the narrator is recognized as the deranged victim of an hallucinatory nightmare.

Most commentators on the story have praised it either for its powerful evocation of terror or its artistically skillful revelation by degrees of the narrator as a homicidal maniac. Arthur Hobson Quinn's description of the story as "a study...

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This section contains 1,094 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John W. Canario
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Critical Essay by John W. Canario from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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