Analysis of "The Tell-Tale Heart"
Point of view is important to any story, because it can
help create the mood, and setting of a piece. "The Tell-
Tale Heart" is a good example of this. In "The Tell-Tale
Heart" Poe uses first person point of view to create
suspense and tension, while letting the reader try to
discover the thoughts of the narrator.
Throughout the story, Poe is careful how he portrays
his words. The way he does portray them creates a sense of
suspense that makes you feel as if you are observing the
whole event, frame by frame. In this story, Poe states "For
a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I
did not hear him lie down" (63). In this example his words
are described in such vivid detail that you picture this
scene perfectly. Another example includes when Poe uses
such phrases as, "It was open-wide, wide open-and I grew
furious as I gazed upon it" (63). The use of repetition in
first person point of view helps to stir some emotions of
the unknown. It creates the suspense of not knowing what
will happen next.
By using first person point of view, Poe was able to
show how the narrator feels. An example of this is when the
narrator uses the phrases at the beginning to question his
existence. The narrator wanted to know if he was mad, or
not. Phrases such as "I heard all things in the heaven and
in earth" (62), tells the reader that the narrator indeed is
mad, yet the narrator thinks himself not. In the following
statement, "If still you think me mad, you will think so no
longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the
concealment of the body" (64). This in turn helps the
reader form their opinion that this man is mad.
Poe brilliantly uses first person point of view to his
advantage in this story. It brings out many feelings in the
readers mind. Without the use of this point of view, this
story would not contain the clarity and suspense it does.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Tell-Tale Heart. Literature: An
Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, Sixth ed.
Ed. Lisa Moore et al., New York, NY: Harper Collins.
Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/telltale-heart.php