Essay Tell Tale Heart Cask Amontillado

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In a sense, the narrator is worse than a beast; only a human being could so completely terrorize his victim before finally killing it, as, for example, the narrator deliberately terrorizes the old man before killing him.

And as noted in the introduction to this section, this story shows the narrator's attempt to rationalize his irrational behavior.

First, he dismembered the old man, and afterward there was not a spot of blood anywhere: "A tub had caught all — ha! " The mere narration here shows how the narrator, with his wild laughter, has indeed lost his rational faculties.

Likewise, the delight he takes in dismembering the old man is an act of extreme abnormality.

The sound increased; it was "a low, dull quick sound." We should note that the words used here to describe the beating of the heart are the exact words used only moments earlier to describe the murder of the old man. " Early commentators on the story saw this as merely another tale of terror or horror in which something supernatural was happening.

As the beating increased, the narrator "foamed [and] raved" adjectives commonly used to apply to a mad man. To the modern reader, it is less ambiguous; the beating of the heart occurs within the narrator himself.In contrast to the turmoil going on in the narrator's mind, the police continued to chat pleasantly. " Thus, as the beating of the heart becomes intolerable, he screams out to the police: "I admit the deed! It is established at the beginning of the story that he is over-sensitive — that he can hear and feel things that others cannot.The narrator wonders how it was possible that they did not hear the loud beating which was becoming louder and louder. At the end of the story, if there really were a beating heart up under the floor boards, then the police would have heard it.The story begins with the narrator admitting that he is a "very dreadfully nervous" type.This type is found throughout all of Poe's fiction, particularly in the over-wrought, hyper-sensitive Roderick Usher in "The Fall of the House of Usher." As with Usher, the narrator here believes that his nervousness has "sharpened my senses — not destroyed — not dulled them." Thus, he begins by stating that he is not mad, yet he will continue his story and will reveal not only that he is mad, but that he is terribly mad.It would sometimes take him an hour to go that far — "would a madman have been so wise as this?" he asks, thus showing, he hopes, how thoroughly objective he can be while commenting on the horrible deed he committed.After the dismembering and the cleaning up were finished, the narrator carefully removed the planks from the floor in the old man's room and placed all the parts of the body under the floor. (To the reader, this is an unexpected turn of events, but in such tales, the unexpected becomes the normal; see the section on "Edgar Allan Poe and Romanticism.") The narrator admitted the police to the house "with a light heart" since the old man's heart was no longer beating, and he let the police thoroughly search the entire house.As he surveyed his work, the door bell rang at 4 A. Afterward, he bade the police to sit down, and he brought a chair and sat upon "the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim." The officers were so convinced that there was nothing to be discovered in the apartment that could account for the shrieks that they sat around chatting idly.His sensitivities allow him to hear and sense things in heaven, hell, and on earth that other people are not even aware of.His over-sensitivity becomes in this story the ultimate cause of his obsession with the old man's eye, which in turn causes him to murder the old man.


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