How is the theme of discovery developed in Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

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Near the end of the story, police arrive at the narrator's home. They tell him,

A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

In other words, the police have been dispatched to discover the source of the cry that the narrator's neighbors heard. The narrator actually encourages them to search! He assures them that the cry was his own and that the old man is out of town. He brings chairs into the very room in which the old man is buried and asks the policemen to sit down. He declares that they "were satisfied. [His] manner had convinced them. [He] was singularly at ease." However, it is at this point, when they are convinced that there is nothing to discover, that the narrator begins to become unhinged, almost as though he craves discovery. His symptoms sound like guilt: his head begins to ache, his ears ring, he grows pale, he becomes agitated, his breathing accelerates, and so on. He believes that he hears the old man's heart beating beneath the floorboards, though this is likely also another symptom of his guilt (it is his own heart beating so quickly and loudly to him). The narrator soon confesses to the crime he's committed, as he is sure the police have already discovered it. Although he does not appear to recognize his guilt, the narrator's behavior provides evidence that he does, in fact, feel guilty for his actions and that this guilt compels him to crave discovery.

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Poe's story is about secrets -- secret feelings, and secret deeds. So, if we think about discovery as "finding" something, in a way the story is about the fear of being "found out" or discovered. There are many examples of this in the story. From the beginning, we as readers are put in the position of having already "found out" something about the narrator -- the narrator is addressing us, and the story begins in mid-conversation, as if we already have discovered his madness: "Why do you say that I am mad?" In the part of the story where he looks in on the old man in the night, the narrator is specifically trying to avoid detection or discovery -- "He could not guess that every night, just at twelve, I looked in at him as he slept." But it is the night that he is detected in the dark, looking down at the old man, and his "discovery" in the faint gleam of the lamp of the old man's "vulture eye" -- that actually causes th narrator to murder him. The secret of of the murder must be concealed -- the body of the old man is hacked up and hidden under the floorboards -- but the secret cannot be concealed from the police for long. It is the narrator himself who makes the discovery of the body for the police -- the hallucinatory sound of the beating heart driving him to do it. Perhaps the particular nature of the narrator's madness is a morbid need to reveal all his secrets -- the deeper the secret, the greater the need for discovery.

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