The Tell Tale Heart

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“The Tell Tale Heart” By: Edgar Allan Poe:

“The Tell Tale Heart” By: Edgar Allan Poe Ms. Mazorowicz 7th Grade

Internal Conflict :

Internal Conflict An internal conflict is a battle within a character’s own mind. How did you decide what you wanted to eat for lunch today ?

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“Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if exited to fury by the observations of the men - but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! What could I do?” This is an internal conflict because the argument the character is having is happening inside his own head.

External Conflict :

External Conflict An external conflict is the battle between a character in a story and any outside force. An outside force can include anything from another character to nature. For example, extreme heat is an external force.

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“And I did this for seven long nights- every night just at midnight- but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work. This is an external conflict between the main character and time.

Overstatement :

Overstatement An overstatement is when a statement is exaggerated. “I have a ton of homework” This is an example of overstatement because literally they do not have a ton of homework.

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“I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle...” This is an example of overstatement because it is impossible not to move a muscle for an hour. He is just trying to say that he was very still, but literally he did move a muscle.

Understatement :

Understatement An understatement is used to make a fact of a situation seem less important than it really is. Saying, “It only rained a little,” after realizing your house flooded would be an understatement.

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“...- I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever. Now at this point. You fancy me mad.” This is an understatement, at this point in the story the reader begins to think that the main character is much more than mad.

Theme :

Theme A theme is the main thought or idea of a story. A theme is the idea the author is trying to get across to his or her readers. A theme is usually an abstract idea that is recurring.

What is the theme in the “The Tell Tale Heart?” :

What is the theme in the “The Tell Tale Heart?” The theme in “The Tell Tale Heart” is guilt. Edgar Allen Poe is trying to convince the readers that the main character feels guilty for killing the old man. There are many parts in the story where Poe wants the reader to understand that even though the main character seems crazy he still feels remorse.

Evidence :

Evidence “ I loved the old man. He never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye!” “Meantime, the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say louder every moment! - do you mark me well I have told you I that I am nervous: so I am.” “Villains,” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! - tear up the planks! here, here! - It is the beating of his hideous heart!”

Symbolism :

Symbolism A symbol can be anything that stands for something else. Uncle Sam is often used to symbolize America. Often in literature symbols have a deeper meaning.

Symbolism in the “The Tell Tale Heart” :

Symbolism in the “The Tell Tale Heart” What does the beating heart symbolize? “Almighty God! - no, no! They heard!- they suspected ! - they knew! - they were making a mockery of my horror- this I thought and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision. I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now- again! - hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!”

Guilt :

Guilt Through out the story the beating heart symbolizes guilt. This contributes to the theme and creates suspense when building up to the end where the main character can no longer take the guilt. “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed” - tear up the planks! here, here! - It is the beating of his hideous heart!”

Citations :

Citations Poe, E. A. (2008 ). The Tell Tale Heart (Vols. Volume II ). Project Gutenberg .

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