What is the imagery in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There is great imagery (5 senses) in this story.  The first is the descriptions of the old man's eye, which is the catlyst for the murder:  "He had the eye of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold." and then later, "all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones." Then, in the first half, you have repeated descriptions of the narrator's cautious, steady, silent stalking and waiting.  The most effective repeated imagery is that of the heartbeat, which starts off as "a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton," increases to a "hellish tattoo", and keeps getting "louder, louder!".  The sound of the heartbeat increases the tension just as a movie soundtrack would, and leads to the murder and confession.

Poe uses images and imagery to help the reader feel like they are actually there, experiencing the situations and emotions, and it makes for a really great story.

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brandih | eNotes Employee

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Imagery in "The Tell-Tale Heart" has also been previously discussed.  Please see the links below for more information.

js1956329336's profile pic

js1956329336 | Student | eNotes Newbie

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what mrs-campbell said


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