The Tell-Tale Heart Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Tell-Tale Heart.
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Narrator

The narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" recounts his murder of an old man. Since he tells the story in first-person, the reader cannot determine how much of what he says is true; thus, he is an unreliable narrator. Though he repeatedly states that he is sane, the reader suspects otherwise from his bizarre reasoning, behavior, and speech. He speaks with trepidation from the famous first line of the story: "True — nervous— very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?" The reader soon realizes through Poe's jolting description of the narrator's state of mind that the protagonist has in fact descended into madness. The narrator claims that he loves the old man and has no motive for the murder other than growing dislike of a cloudy film over one of the old man's eyes. Poe effectively conveys...

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This section contains 411 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Tell-Tale Heart Study Guide
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The Tell-Tale Heart from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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