Edgar Allen Poe

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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Dear Mr. Poe, I have just finished reading your short story The Tell-Tale Heart. I really enjoyed it. The way you use imagery in this story is outstanding. You are so vivid in describing the situations. Reading this story has made me realize that anyone at anytime can go crazy over the smallest of things. Sometimes I find myself going crazy over small, minute things such as things not being in order and so on. I am writing you because the story I read has changed me in one-way or another. Like I said before I am cautious now that I have read your story. Some questions that popped up in my mind are: Why would a man do this to an innocent old man? I have come to the conclusion that the narrator just let's things get to him and were a bit cuckoo.

Sometimes I find myself cleaning up after myself when I've done something that I shouldn't have, just as the narrator in your story did.

When the narrator gets jumpy and nervous due to his conscience, I realized that I have been in that same position. This story has made me more aware of my surroundings. When I see someone in the news accused of doing horrible things I wonder how someone could do something so gruesome. That's exactly what I said to myself the first time I read The Tell-Tale Heart. I also pondered the question of why a person would go to so much trouble to clean up after himself when the place where he is hiding it is in his own home where, most likely, the body will start to smell and decompose causing his guests to be suspicious and possibly call local authorities. The authorities that showed up at the narrator's house surprised me. How could the neighbors hear the old mans scream when it was in the middle of the night and everyone was in bed asleep? It also seems that the authorities would have gotten there while the narrator was still cleaning up his mess. The old man screamed when the narrator stabbed him the first time. So I think the police would have gotten there around the time he was putting the body parts under the hard wood floor. I have noticed in some of your stories the narrator gives the crime away. In the story, The Black Cat, the narrator hits the place where his wife is at and in The Tell-Tale Heart the narrator sits directly over-top the body and eventually gives it away by his insanity.

I have enjoyed reading your stories, but this one has to be my favorite because of your use of imagery and describing important details. I also enjoy your plots and how most of the time someone ends up getting slaughtered. I enjoy a few bloody stories. Thank you for your time Mr. Poe. I hope you continue to provide the world with excellent horror stories for a long time to come.