Essay and outline of Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

Essay by JeebusHigh School, 11th gradeA+, August 2002

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The Tell- Tale Heart

By: Edgar Allen Poe

There is a thin line that separates sanity, and those who are lacking it but to those

few who are insane, do they consider themselves so? In this story, it tells the story of a house keeper and care taker of a elderly man who lacks in the areas of vision and hearing. This care taker though is driven to kill the old man, why? Because he claimed the old mans injured eye, being pale white, and deformed, drove him to slay the old man. He even shows a hint of remorse for killing the old man. Yet, in the end his sins drive him to extreme paranoia.

The interesting thing about this story is that it is narrated by the care taker who killed the elderly man. He speaks of himself as sane, calculating, and smart individual. He keeps on speaking highly of himself, as if to convince the reader, or himself, of his sanity despite the obvious fact he is lacking any.

He speaks of the cautiousness while acting out the killing of the elderly man. He calculates every detail and takes great care make sure he keeps every detail in check. Despite his efforts the old man gets alerted to his presence on the night he is to be slain, it makes the old man scream and sends the story into a thrilling pre climax ending in the death of the old man. Once he is killed, the killer then cuts the old man into pieces, keeping his remains under the floor boards on the houses first floor.

Perhaps the most disturbing detail about the story is how the killer refers to the old mans eye, his reason for slaying him, as a totally separate entity from the old...