Essay on Symbolism: Edgar Allan Poe and Old Man

Submitted By Patrice-Berry
Words: 338
Pages: 2

Patrice Berry
Mrs. Myatt
Composition II
4 March 2015 The Tell-Tale Heart Like many of Edgar Allen Poe’s works. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is full of both death and darkness. Many real life tragedies where the inspiration for his gothic style of writing. Dealing with many aspects of both death and madness, madness plays yet another key role in the plot. In this short story Poe used literary devices such as symbolism and point of view to it dramatic effects and add to the madness the narrator portrays. The eye, lantern, heart, …… are symbols used by Poe. The eye is a way to symbolize a part of the narrators identity, that he refuses to accept. Eyes are often viewed as a representative of one’s true nature, and being able to reveal an aspect of one’s true personality. The narrator believes this is the case when it comes to his victim. Believing the eye is revealing things of the old man that no one else is able to see. The narrator reduces the old mans identity to his eyes, by stating “I saw [the eye] with perfect distinctness… I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person;”. This gives the readers a chance to realize that this however is not the old man, but the narrator himself that the eye represents. The narrator describes the eye as “evil” and compares it to a “vulture”. Both are words that better describe the narrator. He can be described as “evil” when without reason, he kills and dismembers the old man, hides him under the floor, and even allows the…