What are some examples to support the theme of death in the story "The Tell-tale Heart"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

“The Tell-tale Heart” is a horror story involving murder, so of course there is going to be death.  However, the story focuses on a preoccupation with death.  The narrator kills an old man because of his evil eye, and then cuts up the body and hides it under the floor boards.  Then he lets the police in and lets them walk around, finally having a friendly chat right above the body.

At this point, the narrator begins to get nervous.  He starts to hear something.

It was a low, dull, quick sound—much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath—and yet the officers heard it not. (p. 6)

Sometimes death can lead to intense guilt.  The narrator does not make a good murder.  The death of his victim haunts him.  He ends up confessing.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,911 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question