Back to: The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Table of Contents
The story revolves around the theme of guilt. The narrator dies not feel guilty while planning the murder of the old man even though he feels conflicted with his own reasons to do so.
He questions his own sanity but tries to evade guilt or remorse even after committing murder and disposing of the body. He feels a sense of arrogance and even brings cops to the site of the crime.
However, in the end, guilt does enter his mind and he cannot endure its torture. He shouts out a confession and points to the burial spot of his victim’s body.
Sanctity of Home
Home is the place of refuge where any person feels safe and unflustered. However, in the story, it is this safe haven that is violated. It is also the place whereon reveals his/her darkest desires and intentions. In the case of the narrator, home becomes both the place of confessions as well as the site of a gruesome act of violence.
The central theme of the story is murder and how the narrator plans on murdering his victim. There is an explanation as far as motives are concerned but the reader is never convinced with them. There is an element of tragedy as well of sinister ambition in the same criminal act.
The story builds suspense based on moments and timing. It is full of references to time and clocks. This adds to the narration and helps create drama and suspense in the flow of the story.
Most of the action happens during the night across the spell of eight days even though we do not get much information regarding the rest of the time.
The story tries to highlight the various perceptions people have of reality. The narrator tries to justify his own dark intentions through his distortion of reality.
He tries to create a reality where he should not feel guilty for his actions. However, from the perspective of the old man, he is just an innocent victim of a brutal crime.