Why does Edgar Allan Poe use an unreliable narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart?" I'm trying to understand why Poe would write the narrator as unreliable when the narrator is trying to prove himself sane and reliable. I'm also trying to understand the purposes of writing with an unreliable narrator.

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Sometimes an author may choose to use an unreliable narrator because they are depicting some aspect of human nature that a more reliable narrator might lack or try to hide. Or, perhaps the narrator himself or herself is trying to hide something, and this makes them unreliable. With this particular narrator, his relative lack of emotional and mental stability leads him not only to want to kill the old man because of his "vulture eye" but also to reveal clues to us as to why the eye bothers him so very much.

It seems that the old man has cataracts, as this would account for the "veil" within the eye that bothers the narrator so much. Cataracts is a condition that typically affects the elderly, those closer to death than the young or middle-aged. Further, vultures are connected with death as well, because they live on the carcasses of dead animals. Moreover, the narrator even says at one point that he recognizes the "groan of mortal terror" made by the fearful old man, on the night the...

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