The Tell-Tale Heart Essay

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In the following excerpt, Ward notes with regard to "The Tell-Tale Heart" that Poe's short stories commonly deal with similar subject matter. He comments that Poe's narrative technique makes his stories powerful and effective, although his usual themes, such as madness, are unappealing.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is one of the most effective parables ever conceived. Shorn of its fantastic details regarding the murdered man's vulture-like eye, and the long-drawn-out detail concerning the murderer's slow entrance into his victim's room, the story stands as an unforgettable record of the voice of a guilty conscience.

Despite its merit as a parable, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is marred by the insanity of the chief character. From the very first sentence his madness is apparent through his desperate insistence upon his sanity; and the preliminaries of his crime go to prove that madness. The vital weakness of Poe's stories in this kind is...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 596 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 Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.