The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, The Tell-Tale Heart begins and ends with a tone of horror. Through a majority of The Tell-Tale Heart the narrator attempts to prove that he is sane even though his sole goal is to take the life of a man who never did him any harm. Tell-Tale Heart research papers reveal that there are several clues that hint at the narrator’s unreliability aside from the obvious. These clues include the disjointed, rambling manner in which the story is delivered, the way his actions belie his thoughts, and the way he purposely imposes terror on one he claims to like.
The narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart proves he is unreliable in that he is determined to make his point yet is not capable of telling his story in a straight forward fashion. Further, his words and actions are not in agreement. Third, he intentionally inflicts terror on a person he states he has no ill feelings for. All of these clues confirm that the narrator in the story is not sane, and therefore, not reliable. Research papers know of course, that he is quite, quite mad and the events in paragraph sixteen merely confirm that fact rather than introduce it to us. Every paragraph previous to this final one reveals The Tell-Tale Heart and Madness. There are therefore two forms of irony in paragraph sixteen. There is irony on a very direct level, the fact that the man “loses it” while two policemen talk calmly to him, and this is quite funny. Literature Term Papers point out that there is also the somewhat indirect irony of seeing a man who has made repeated claims to sanity fall completely apart over nothing. This serves to give emphasis to the fact that as intelligent as he obviously he is, he is completely incapable of realizing the truth about himself.