Edgar Allen Poe wrote "The Tell-Tale Heart" in order to demonstrate his theory of composition. This theory states that short stories should be relatable, controlled and compressed. According to Poe, short stories should be readable in a single sitting. Because of this, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is only 10 paragraphs long.Know More
Poe packs the 10 paragraphs with much information, but the nature of that information helps to create an intriguing effect on the reader. Because the story gives no names or other specifics, the narrator and reader develop a kind of convenient intimacy in that Poe's narrator is able to relate information he would not share with a friend.
Poe's desire to shock readers with the information the narrator has is another reason the narrative is so short, as he felt that longer narratives minimized the shocking impact that the author had on the audience. A large part of that impact comes from the chief subject matters of murder and confession. Poe presents these deep topics to the reader in the form of fiction told by a nameless narrator in order to help the reader examine his own feelings regarding both of these topics. Poe also forces the reader to question the reliability of the narrator as the man tries to convince readers that he is not insane despite his murderous actions and the fact that he continues hearing the beating of the heart.Learn more about Poetry
Poe's concept of a "single effect" applies to short stories, and basically states that every element of a story should contribute to a single emotional effect of the story. This rule was important, because Poe was the founder of the short story, and this consequently became a foundational rule of the genre.Full Answer >
The plot of "The Tell-Tale Heart," by Edgar Allan Poe, is about the narrator's insanity and paranoia surrounding an old man who lives with him. Later in the story, the narrator's mental deficiencies worsen after he kills the old man.Full Answer >
Irony refers to the unexpected, and there is plenty of the unexpected in Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale "The Tell-Tale Heart," beginning with the fact that the narrator (who is also the killer) is only driven to homicide by his employer's eye, rather than the entire person. The ending is also ironic with the fact that the sound the narrator hears at the end of the story, and which drives him to tear up the floorboards and reveal his victim's corpse, is not audible to anyone else in the room.Full Answer >
The short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" was written by Edgar Allen Poe. It was first published in the Boston magazine "The Pioneer" in January of 1843.Full Answer >