Subtle Differences: A Comparison of the Narrators of "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat"

Essay by whereismymthgrdHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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While they may seem similar in many ways, the narrators of both "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" are actually very different, The means by which each are exposed in the end are completely different, their amount of sanity (or lack thereof) is another characteristic that separates the two men, along with the amount of planning involved in the murders that each of the men committed. These are three major reasons that make these two men different.

The first narrator we will look at is the gentleman in "The Black Cat." This man is exposed simply due to his own arrogance. In tapping on the wall covering his wife, and ultimately, the cat, he displayed a great amount of arrogance. In the end of "The Tell-Tale Heart", the narrator admits to the crime he has committed simply because he is completely consumed with a mixture of guilt and fear.

The bottom line, however, is that our first narrator causes his own downfall through his over-confident tap on the wall, whereas the second is simply insane. This brings us to our next difference: Sanity.

Both narrators feel the need to point out to the reader that they are indeed sane, however, only one of them really is. Who is it? Why, it is none other than the narrator from "The Tell-Tale Heart." While he says that he is undoubtedly sane, he continually displays traits of the token schizophrenic or psychopath. The way he obsessed over something as simple as an eye, the way he planned every step out ever so carefully, and the way he executed his plan, and then took it a step further are all red flags that suggest that he's got some lose screws.

In the heat...