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Short Story Analysis:

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by

Erin Wells

on 30 September 2014

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Transcript of Short Story Analysis:

Short Story Analysis:
"Tell Tale Heart" By Edgar Allan Poe
Will and Carlton

Brief Summary
Craft
Point of View
Perspective
Symbolism
Irony
Foreshadowing and flashback
What is the point of view of Tell-Tale Heart and how does that affect our understanding of the story?
Tell-Tale Heart is told from the first person point of view. We only know the narrator’s thoughts, feelings, and actions as he sees them. Because the story is told from the first person point of view, we do not know anyone else’s thoughts or feelings and we do not know if the narrator is completely reliable. For instance, the old man’s eye may have been normal and the narrator just crazy.
Perspective
Symbolism
What is an example of irony from tell-tale heart?

There is dramatic irony in Tell-Tale Heart. The reader knows more than the characters do. Specifically, the old man does not know of the narrator’s distaste for his eye and the old man does not know that the narrator is planning to kill him. There is also verbal irony in Tell-Tale Heart. The narrator says that he is not mad when the exact opposite ends up being true.

Foreshadowing and Flashback
What is an example of foreshadowing from tell-tale Heart? The author beings the story by indicating that he is not mad. He continues to say that he is not mad. This was the author providing us clues to the outcome of the story, which is that the narrator is actually mad.

What is an example of flashback from tell-tale heart? The entire story of Tell-Tale Heart is a flashback. The man is recounting the events of what happened previously.

Theme
The short story "Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe is about internal demons and reveals that humans will ultimately succumb to their guilt as a result of the internal anxiety they feel in order to preserve themselves.

Setting
Character Development
Conflict
Internal conflict: The narrator is struggling to understand his distaste for the old man’s eye. He has no ill will towards the old man, but he feels the eye is evil and needs to be eliminated.

External conflict: The narrator sneaks in to spy on the old man every night at midnight for seven days. One evening, the old man wakes up. After an hour of silence, the narrator overtakes and kills the old man.
Tell Tale Heart is a short story about a man who is driven crazy by the eye of his old man tenant. This eye eventually causes this man to commit murder. He is overcome with guilt and anxiety; thus, he eventually admits to murder.
The setting of this story is a house in a time before electricity. The setting is intentionally obscure as this story could have happened anywhere at any time. The setting creates an eerie sense for the reader. For instance, when the man uses the lantern to very slowly shine a light upon the old man's eye while making sure he is making little noise, the reader feels a sense of suspense. This leads the reader to believe that the anxiety the man feels will result in his ultimate downfall.
The eyes through which the story is told is the man who is driven crazy by the old man's eye. We do not know the old man's perspective as the story unfolds.
How does setting, character, craft, and conflict lead to theme?
Setting:
The eerie and suspenseful feeling created by the setting leads the reader to believe that the anxiety the narrator feels will ultimately lead to his downfall.
Character:
The main character exhibits large amounts of anxiety. He first feels anxious about the eye, but he then feels anxious and paranoid after committing the murder. Ultimately, this gets the best of him and he is forced to confess.
Craft:
The author uses intentional strategies in order to develop theme, such as symbolism and irony. In this case, the old man's eye symbolized evil. When the narrator eliminates the eye, he is still haunted by it; therefore, the narrator is haunted by his own demons, not the demons of the old man.
Conflict:
The internal struggle is what ultimately ends up ailing the narrator, not the external struggle. He is forced to face his own guilt.
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