Appraisal of “The Tell Tale Heart”


Even during life’s darkest moments, when the death of a dear friend, such as Edgar Allan Poe, has shaken me nearly to the core and caused a dark cloud to descend upon me, I must see through the haze before me and realize that there is important work to be done. The work to which I refer is my appraisal of Poe’s, “The Tell-Tale Heart”!

However, I find myself unable to fully focus my considerable intellect upon the task at hand as there is such a growing confusion and, dare I say now, “sensation,” regarding his death. As of late, there have been a multitude of sightings of Poe, since his death. Of these, many have been corroborated and documented by photograph and even moving photograph. This, combined with the cryptograms we have been seeing (with alarming frequency I might add) can only mean that something quite “unnatural” is clearly afoot! It is nearly too much for me to fathom. Heaven help us!

Moving on, it is stories like, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” that cause me to ponder whether Poe was suffering from some sort of internal damnation– whether his preposterous and often unseemly antics in life were merely a reflection of the madness within.
“The Tell-Tale Heart,” attempts to rationalize the evilest of acts… Murder! In it, yet another unnamed character (I cannot call this man a “protagonist,” as the workings of his mind are without question influenced by Satan) narrates the story. This possessed madman (for that is what he is!) attempts to persuade us that he is sound of mind and had no hatred in his heart for the elderly and infirmed man whose life he took.

Owing to the fact that I am a gentleman and recognize the delicate nature of my female readers, I will spare you the method by which The Narrator attempts to conceal his heinous crime. Instead, I will relate to you that, after he commits this crime, his soul is not at ease. Though, he is affable and polite when the police come to call.

Throughout their interrogation, though, The Narrator’s ears are filled with a buzzing sound which he attributes to the “heartbeat” of the elderly gentleman he just murdered. (Ladies, if you have smelling salts on hand, I implore you to take a moment if needed.) Wracked with an ever-mounting anxiety and consumed with guilt, The Narrator is finally compelled to confess his crime to the police.

Readers, while I want to believe with all of my heart that Poe’s soul is at peace with our Heavenly Father, the fact that he could write so callously about taking someone’s life calls into question Poe’s own sanity. Were the forces of good and evil at war within the man himself? Is this what led him to become unhinged?

As of late, we have cataloged story after story of Master Poe, and they tend to have a common theme… The Macabre. Madness and Murder “run rampant” in his writings. I wonder if they ran rampant in Poe’s mind, as well? I am left to deliberate if these, “unnamed narrators,” are indeed, in fact, representative of Poe himself!

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