tell tale heart critical analysis

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The Tell Tale Heart is a story, on the most basic level, of conflict. There is a mental conflict within the narrator himself (assuming the narrator is male). Through obvious clues and statements, Poe alerts the reader to the mental state of the narrator, which is insanity. The insanity is described as an obsession (with the old man’s eye), which in turn leads to loss of control and eventually results in violence. Ultimately, the …

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…demented criminal has feelings of guilt, if not remorse, for what he has done. This is shown exquisitely in Poe’s writing. All three elements were used to their extreme to convey the theme. The balance of the elements is such that some flow into others. It is sometimes hard to distinguish one from another. Poe’s usage of these elements shows his mastery not only over the pen, but over the mind as well.