How can I write an essay discussing the unusual features of the narrator in Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’?

Expert Answers
thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Among the best guides to analyzing narrative structures is Wayne Booth's Rhetoric of Fiction (listed below)

When you are asked to analyze how the narrator contributes to the sense of horror in the story, you need to examine what makes this narrator unusual.

First, consider the use of the first person viewpoint. Does viewing the story through the narrator's eyes contribute to psychological suspense?

Next, would you expect a first person narrator to be trustworthy? Is Poe's narrator trustworthy? As you read through the story, you can note several places in which the narrator describes what makes him different from ordinary people (look for references to sensitivity, nerves, etc.)

Finally, is the narrator sane?

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I edited your question because the initial phrasing could have been interpreted as asking someone on the site to write your homework assignment for you, which would be unethical. The techniques above should help you with the process of composing your own short essay.

wanderista | Student


Thanks for your response, but you have completely changed my question. I do not want to write an essay on this topic, but only a paragraph.


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