The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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How does Edgar Allen Poe's life connect to "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

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Edgar Allan Poe encountered the deaths of close loved ones at an early age. Poe’s mother died when he was only three years old, and his father left Poe and his siblings. As a consequence, the children were taken in by different families. Edgar was taken in by John and Frances Allan. Although he came to love Frances, he apparently had a difficult time with her husband. The Allans never formally adopted Poe, but he took their last name as his middle name. Frances died in 1829, when Poe was 20. With the death of his foster mother, Poe felt another major loss in his life. He was also somewhat estranged from his foster father by that time, as John Allan did not approve of his chosen profession as a writer.

It seems as if as a result of all the losses he suffered, much of Poe’s writing reflects some level of obsession with the morbid. In “The Tell-Tale Heart ,” for instance, the narrator seems to be unstable, which results in his committing murder. Initially, the narrator denies that he...

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