Define the title of "The Tale-Tell Heart."no

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marilynn07 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Edgar Allan Poe is the master of thriller stories and horror stories. He focuses on the macabre in his writing.

The Tell-Tale Heart tells us that something about this story is going to involve a type of tattle tale.  It might be a romance, but based on what we know about Poe's history, we can presume that it will not be a romance as we understand it. We might presume that the conscience or "heart" tells on itself.

The title almost gives away the plot.  But we don't know whose heart is beating until the very end of the story.

oftheworld | Student

Poe's choice of title leads us to believe that the 'heart' will tell a tale.  On the surface the reader feels and reads that the heart (physical part of the body), is key to the mystery. The plot in fact does reveal that the heart uncovered the murderer.  A deeper evaluation and understanding of Poe's mastery with the human language and literary devices, leads to the realization that the 'heart' is a mere symbol of the human spirit.  It is suggested that the humanness of the murderer overcame the evil of his predetermined act of murder.  Poe's working title might have been: Good & Evil.