What is the "local color" of "The Tell-Tale Heart"?  

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Local color can best be defined as "the characteristics, features and peculiarities of a specific region or time." Since Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" takes place entirely within the confines of the old man's house, it makes the question a difficult one to answer and limits the term to the actions and characters therein.

The darkness of the house is a key aspect of the story, since most of the story takes place or is described during the midnight hours. The peculiarities important to the story are primarily the two main characters themselves: the old man with the "vulture eye," which is described as having a film over it (but may have appeared unusual only to the madman and no one else), and the madman who kills him. The lack of details about other aspects of the setting--we only know that it is a house with wooden, plank floors--and the characters (the old man apparently is wealthy, since the madman speaks of his gold) make other examples of local color almost impossible to determine.

tacotheory | Student

local color is a color that is near your residence because it is local :)