On the basis of "The Tell-Tale Heart," why does Poe continue to have a hold on the American imagination?On the basis of "The Tell-Tale Heart," why does Poe continue to have a hold on the American...

On the basis of "The Tell-Tale Heart," why does Poe continue to have a hold on the American imagination?

On the basis of "The Tell-Tale Heart," why does Poe continue to have a hold on the American imagination?

3 Answers | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Every Halloween I dust off Poe and bring him out to play. Kids are especially receptive to his creepy stories at this time of year. Every grade level reads a different Poe story, so by the time they graduate they have read four. I think it's part of the American experience.
accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think the success of this story lies in the feelings of horror and terror it conjures up as we see a murder committed through the eyes of the murderer himself, who is, in addition, a profoundly unreliable narrator. This adds a unique and striking element to the narrative, as we have to try and piece together the confused motives that the narrator has, and his confused feelings towards the old man that he kills.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

He has a grip on the American imagination because of master craftsmanship. From almost the very beginning of the story, we know the horror of the inevitable outcome for the old man. We know that they narrator is insane even though he works so diligently to convince us (and himself) differently. And yet, we wait breathlessly for the outcome. This can only be attributed to Poe's master craftmenship.

We’ve answered 318,911 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question