This section highlights the main elements of our analysis of the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe.
The story’s plot structure features narrative techniques such as backstories and foreshadowing. The text features the confession of a man who tries to prove that he is not insane by explaining how he committed a premeditated murder.
The main character of the story is an unnamed narrator. The old man he kills and the police officers are secondary characters.
The events take place in a house, in an unspecified city, adding to the story’s sense of mystery. The social setting explores views on insanity during the 19th century.
The events are described by a first-person narrator. The narrator is unreliable, as he is clearly mentally ill and further describes himself as having supernatural senses.
The language is written in a formal style, lacks dialogue, and is written as a monologue or a confession made in retrospective. One of the most important symbols is the old man’s vulture eye, a symbol of the conflict between the narrator's mind and heart.
You can find a full analysis of the story in the following pages.