The presence of dialogue in a story is very important because it reveals important information about the characters and the plot. However, the absence of dialogue is also very Important. “The Tell-Tale Heart” has only ONE instance of dialogue, in the last paragraph of the story. What purpose does this piece of dialogue serve in the story? Why did Poe not include any other examples of dialogue in the text?
It isn't actually true that there's only one instance of dialogue (if we mean spoken words within quotation marks) in this text. If you look towards the middle of the story, the narrator describes how the old man leapt up in bed when he heard the narrator approaching, and cried out "Who's there?" Obviously it is notable that there is no response to this—the narrator does not say anything. He has appeared like a ghost and sits extremely still, not wanting to engage in a dialogue with the old man. So, in a sense, if a dialogue is a conversation between two people (its literal meaning) then there is no dialogue in...
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