The Tell-Tale Heart by Poe follows suit with the previous two stories that we have responded to containing plots of gruesome death, and a character that can be perceived as mad. Each author used different methods to bring one of their characters to death, as does Poe, by subjecting his victim to a slow and grueling death in the floor. However, Poes use of madness differs from the other works, giving it a twist of irony in the story.
The story opens with the narrator speaking of his madness coming from the old mans eye making him very, very dreadfully nervous. As the story continues I am intrigued with Poes premeditated plan to bring death to the old man, which would rid him of his fear for the remainder of his life.
Reading about his attention to how careful he is in the planning of his death, and how calm and outgoing he is in executing his plan, we cannot but being to wonder why he is so nervous about his task. Soon after the narrator kills the old man, dismembers his body, and seals him in the floor with the three boards, three police officers appear. The use of threes in this short story appears twice, having three police officers, and three boards where he places the corpse. By using the technique of threes, the author allows the reader to assume that one more event will occur in the story being privy to the previous two events: the narrator stocking and killing the old man. This ironic and third event occurs when the narrator and the police officers are sitting in the bedroom above the dead old man, buried in the floor. As they sit, the narrator ironically begins to hear the beating of the old mans heart, which evokes the same nervousness as the eye did in his body.
Also, the narrator has been very calm and collective thus far, and ironically become irate after hearing the heartbeat. This irony adds a sense of revenge to the deed of the narrator, showing that such an incorrigible deed has a price to pay for it.
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