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The Tell-Tale Heart Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 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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Themes

These topics concern the general works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Sanity and Insanity

Poe uses the theme of insanity vs. insanity, and all the nuances in between, in many of his short stories, often charging his insane narrators with the futile task of proving that they are not mad. Often, in stories such as The Tell-Tale Heart and The Imp of the Perverse, though the respective narrators of each claim they are of sound mind and seem completely unremorseful, they are driven to confess by a persistent reminder of their crime. In other tales, such as The Cask of Amontillado, the narrator is unquestionably insane, and yet there is no remorse and no confession, and though his actions are insane, he is very levelheaded when it comes to their execution. Crime is not the only indicator of insanity, however. In Ligeia, the narrator commits no crime that is spoken...

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This section contains 1,223 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Tell-Tale Heart Study Guide
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The Tell-Tale Heart from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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