The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does telling the story from the narrator's point of view create the "singular effect" in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe?

Expert Answers info

carol-davis eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator’s primary purpose entails convincing the reader that he is not insane.  The nameless speaker provides few details to enable to reader to visualize him physically; however, he speaks to his internal purpose and finds excuses for his behavior at every turn.

The narrator  is unreliable. Unreliable narrators are compelling because they represent a basic aspect of being human. All people have moments of confusion or memory loss. Sometimes it is difficult to be absolutely accurate about the events of even the most important situation.  This story takes this unreliability to new heights.  Because the speaker wants to justify his actions so that he is not judged as mentally unstable, the truth of the story is questionable...

(The entire section contains 409 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial