The Tell-Tale Heart Essay

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In the following excerpt, Gargano praises Poe's controlled presentation of an insane narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart."

In "The Tell-Tale Heart" the cleavage between author and narrator is perfectly apparent. The sharp exclamations, nervous questions, and broken sentences almost too blatantly advertise Poe's conscious intention; the protagonist's painful insistence in "proving" himself sane only serves to intensify the idea of his madness. Once again Poe presides with precision of perception at the psychological drama he describes. He makes us understand that the voluble murderer has been tortured by the nightmarish terrors he attributes to his victim: "He was sitting up in bed listening;— just as I have done, night after night, harkening to the death watches in the wall"; further, the narrator interprets the old man's groan in terms of his own persistent anguish: "Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it...

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This section contains 359 words
(approx. 1 page 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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