Symbols What Symbols are seen in the story Tell Tale Heart? What is the Significance of the "eyes?

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kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The eyes are supposed to be the windows to the soul. The old man's eye has a 'film' across it: the narrator cannot see into the soul of the old man and is afraid of him> Perceiving him as a 'vulture', the narrator is appalled by the eye and kills teh old man. 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The imagined beating heart beneath the planks of the floor signify the surging conscience of the murderer who cannot bear the guilt of his murder; finally, he confesses and tells the inspectors where the dead man lies.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The old man's "vulture eye" denotes evil. The vulture is a black (black = evil) bird that consumes only dead creatures. The darkness of the room and the oft-used setting of night also symbolizes evil.