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Like many of Poe’s other works, the Tell-tale Heart is a gloomy and mysterious story. This one focuses on the events causing the murder of an old man and what happened afterwards. That’s the basics of it, but there are many deep meanings hidden in this short story. Poe uses techniques like first-person narrative, irony and style to pull off a sense of paranoia. This particular story is told in first person narrative, this technique is used to view inside the main character’s head and see the often exciting thoughts.
The narrator in the Tell-tale Heart is telling the story of how he murdered the old man, while he pleads for his sanity. I believe the overall thesis of the story is overconfidence can be destructive as well as lies will constantly be exposed. “No doubt I now grew very pale – but I talked more fluently with a frightened face” – The Tell Tale Heart. I feel this quote helps guide the reader’s attention to the fact of over confidence very well because you can infer that he was nervous, sweating and scared to get caught. It also shows detail, fear and very real emotions he was feeling at that exact time. Another quote that shows overconfidence can be destructive is “And with a frightened voice, I felt that I must scream or die! And now again! Hark! Louder! Louder! Louder!”. This quote shows how overconfidence can be destructive in many ways including how scared he was while the police were there with him, he was so scared and nervous that he just wanted to scream and confess.
“I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye not even his could have detected anything wrong.” I think that this quote is amazing for trying to show the real thesis of this short story because it really shows how confident the narrator was while killing/burying the old man, then it also shows how much perspective and description there is throughout the story. My other quote i found is “I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It is the beating of his hideous heart!” these quotes show overconfidence in a way that you wouldn’t expect, like when it says “it is the beating of his hideous heart”. Therefore he’s talking about the “heart” little does he know it’s all in his mind. “And now-have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over acuteness of the senses?”, I chose this quote because it shows how he didn’t think he was mad or crazy. He just thought he was smarter than he really was. Another quote is “And now at the dead hour of night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excites me to uncontrollable terror”. I chose this quote because it’s telling how truly frightened he was about getting caught. Instead he gave the police the entire explanation, which got himself caught.
To conclude, the three main points of my essay were overconfidence can be destructive, don’t rely on sense you can’t control and there’s more to the story than what meets the eye. Why is overconfidence important? Because with overconfidence you’re never going to figure out what’s going on. When your overconfident you think you’re on the top of the world without knowing what’s going on below you, like the killer in “The Tale tell heart” thinks he could get away with murder without getting caught. Yet alone he got caught because he couldn’t see what was below him.
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