The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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Who is the narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe? Is this narrator male or female and how do you know? 

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As the events of Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Tell-Tale Heart unfold, the narrator of the story is gradually revealed to be the perpetrator of a shockingly gruesome crime.

Whether the narrator is male or female is never unambiguously stated or conclusively revealed. The word "woman" doesn't appear anywhere in the story, and neither do any feminine-leaning pronouns.

The only clues Poe provides the reader can be found in the following passages (italics inserted for emphasis):

"Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing..."

and

"Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this...?"

Poe could have written "madwoman," but he wrote "madman."

Perhaps if the gender of the narrator was relevant to the story, Poe would have provided that information to the reader, but he didn't. The narrator compares his mental state to "madmen."

Whether the narrator is a man or woman seems to be of little or no consequence to Poe. He simply left that element of the story to the imagination of the reader,...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 903 words.)

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