The Tell-Tale Heart | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 24 pages of analysis & critique of The Tell-Tale Heart.
This section contains 6,848 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Christopher Benfey

SOURCE: "Poe and the Unreadable: 'The Black Cat' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart,'" in New Essays on Poe's Major Tales, edited by Kenneth Silverman, Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 27-44.

In the following essay, Benfey studies Poe's exploration of "the unreadable in human relations," the opacity that separates one person from another, in the short stories "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-Tale Heart".

Two fears should follow us through life. There is the fear that we shan't prove worthy in the eyes of someone who knows us at least as well as we know ourselves. That is the fear of God. And there is the fear of Man—the fear that men won't understand us and we shall be cut off from them.

—Robert Frost1

Poe aimed to puzzle his readers. Tale after tale begins or ends with an invitation to decode or decipher a peculiar sequence of events...

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This section contains 6,848 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Christopher Benfey
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Critical Essay by Christopher Benfey from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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