Unpacking TellTale Heart

advertisement
Unpacking The Tell-Tale Heart
Theme
Paranoia
Told by an
unreliable narrator:
The exactness of
telling the story of
his crime he tries to
use as proof of his
sanity; it's as if he's
giving us a
paradox...you'll see
the method in the
madness...how can
we trust someone
like this? reveals his
paranoia
Point of View
Unknown narrator
(man or woman?) uses
I and calls the reader
"you"; effective as he
tries to persuade us of
his innocence and
sanity
Metaphor
A watch's minute hand
moves more quickly
than did mine.
Weird: narrator sees
himself as a kind of
clock, counting down to
old man's death
In media res
Repetition
Repetition
Story begins in media
res or in the middle of
an event. Narrator is
talking to someone who
is not
indentified...psychiatrist,
prison warden, cell mate
Rep. of certain
words helps
emphasize the
thought process of
the narrator. He
often says "very,
very" when
recounting events.
Also indicates
"acuteness of his
senses" - his great
sensitivity to
everything going
around him. This
sensitivity, in turn, is
what causes him to
be so irritated by the
old man's eye.
Sentence structure
also repeated
"I foamed - I raved - I
swore!"
"They heard! - they
suspected! - they knew!"
Title
Tell-Tale Heart refers
to both narrator's
heart (guilt over his
deed leads to his
arrest)and old man's
heart beating that
gives him away
Gothic Literature
explores the dark side of
human experience—
death, alienation,
nightmares, ghosts. Poe
brought the Gothic to
America. American
Gothic literature
dramatizes a culture
plagued by poverty and
slavery through
characters afflicted with
various forms of
insanity and
melancholy.
Diction
Metaphor
Vulture eye brought up
3 times in story; how is
old man like a vulture?
Does his eye watch for
dead things or is it just
very keen? Eye is
capable of making
narrator's "blood run
cold"
Imagery
Irony
We know so little
about the characters,
but so much detail
given about the
murder
Could repetition
emphasize the rushed
effect of the voice,
and the ultimate
beating heart that
haunts narrator?
Juxtaposition
Setting
Irony
Symbol
Heart symbolizes
character's conscience
Watch-symbolic of our
relationship with time;
narrator watches time
very carefully in order
to steal someone's
time (life) which ends
up stealing his by
beating under the
floor. A watch tells
tales of time
Eye -filmy; watchful
symbolic of not being
able to see ourselves
correctly; our selfknowledge is obscured
by forces such as greed
and paranoia. Both old
man and narrator
seem stuck
Bed/bedroom
POV
Sentences
Alliteration
Download
Related flashcards
Create Flashcards