The Tell-Tale Heart Essay

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Chua is a multimedia associate with the National Council of Teachers of English. In the following essay, he examines the role of the twin and the doppelganger in "The Tell-Tale Heart."

A salient feature in many of Edgar Allan Poe's stories is the concept of a nemesis appearing as a doppelganger. A doppelganger is a double— an apparitional twin or counterpart to another living person. In Poe's stories involving a doppelganger, the protagonist identifies closely with the antagonist and vice versa. The double appears in such stories as "The Purloined Letter," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Tell-Tale Heart." The idea of the protagonist fighting a counterpart occurs so often in Poe's works that critics often suggest that it indicates Poe's attempts to work out, through his writings, his own inner conflicts and psychological struggles.

The identification of the narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart...

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This section contains 1,596 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Tell-Tale Heart Study Guide
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