The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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In "The Tell-Tale Heart," is the narrator considered reliable or unreliable?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In common with most of Poe's narrators, the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is indeed thoroughly unreliable. Why? Well, for one thing, he tells us that he's mad. Paradoxically, then, if he's telling the truth, then we can't fully believe him due to his fraught psychological condition. But if he isn't telling the truth, and he's perfectly sane, then we still can't believe him because he's just told us a flat-out lie about his being mad. Either way, then, he's as untrustworthy as they come.

Furthermore, the motivations given to us by the narrator to justify his wicked act—if indeed it took place—are pretty far-fetched, to say the least. He seriously expects us to believe that he brutally murdered this kindly old man, this man who'd never shown him anything but the greatest kindness, because he had an "evil...

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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user3167420 | Student

What details heighten the mood of horror in this passage?

anumjavaid | Student

the narrator was mentally disorder. he was a physco person. so one should not belive on his evidences he is unreliable.

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