Originally, I wanted nothing more than to add a lesser known story of Poe’s, considering how expansive his collection of stories and poetry truly is. Then again, I am a sentimental reader, and this was the first tale of his I had ever encountered. The words printed into this dark, dark, tale stuck with me for a lot longer than I realised, and whenever I have thought to write anything remotely scary, I would always turn to this story for inspiration.
Within The Tell-Tale Heart, readers are presented with a man who is constantly tormented by the ‘vulture eye’ of the old man, whom he shares residence with. Poe never states the old man’s name or gives his readers the name of the narrator, which makes the whole experience even more surreal; the readers continue their journey down the narrator’s mind, they begin to realise the extent of the narrator’s fixation. He claims that the idea came bereft of passion, and of material gain, and yet, completely impossible to remove from his own mind. The narrator continues, taking every conceivable precaution to dispose of any physical evidence of his folly.
Poe’s writing style within this short story is nothing short of phenomenal. With every breath of the narrative, the readers note that there is vehement denial in the tone when we examine the narrator’s sanity. Many times he attempts to reassure the readers that he is of sound mind, but falls short. Perhaps due to his own fixation on appearing sane, the need to appear normal was what eventually drove him to madness. Or perhaps it was the overwhelming guilt that drove him to madness. Either way, Poe’s playfulness with words and imagery really makes The Tell-Tale Heart shine as a short story. With such vivid imagery and tantalising language, it is by far one of my favourite short stories.
Have any favourite stories of your own you’d like to share? Let me know!
Until next time,