the tell-tale heart by edgar alan poe
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DESCRIPTIONThe Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Alan Poe. tell-tale : . Genre Introduction: What Is Short Story . Fiction Novel Short Story Fable Parable Tales. plot Narrative point of view Setting Characterization. Point of View. Definition: The perspective from which a - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
The Tell-Tale Heart byEdgar Alan Poe
Genre Introduction: What Is Short Story
FictionNovelShort StoryFableParable Tales
plotNarrative point of viewSettingCharacterization
Point of ViewDefinition: The perspective from which a story is told.Types: A. The narrator a participant(writing in first person I)
B. The narrator a nonparticipant(writing in the third-person)
A. The Participant Narrator1. A major character
2. A minor character
B. The Nonparticipant Narrator1. all-knowing (or omniscient): seeing into any of the characters2. seeing into one major character3. seeing into one minor character4. objective: not seeing into any characters (Ex. Ernest Hemingways works)
The Unreliable NarratorDefinition: the story told from the point of view of a person who, we perceive, is deceptive (), self-deceptive (), deluded (), or deranged ().Why the use of an unreliable narrator:to create a lively conflict between what we are told and what, apparently, we are meant to believe ()
Association ()The non-participant narrator in The Midnight Visitor: seeing into one minor characterThe ironical point of view in The Midnight Visitor There is a gap between the authors perception of espionage and that of Fowler, the young writer.
Some Names that You May KnowStephen KingFreddy KruegerLa LloronaBela LugosiBram StokerThe Addams FamilyBoris KarloffYuki OnnaMary Shelley
Who These People Are 1Stephen King: writer of horror novels---ex. Misery ()Freddy Kruger: character in Nightmare on Elm Street ()La Llorona: Mexican folklore (weeping woman)Bela Lugosi: actor; playing Count Dracula
Who These People Are 2Bram Stoker: author of Dracula ()The Addams Family Mary Shelley: author of FrankensteinBoris Karloff: actor; playing Frankenstein ()Yuki Onna: Japanese folklore
Thriller 1Why are horror movies (thrillers) so popular?
Do you believe in or will you influenced by the scenes described in the thrillers?
Thriller 2Function 1: to distract your mind from your real life pressure?Function 2: to enjoy the excitement invoked by the imagination of the weird or gruesome?Function 3: to release some of our deep fears in an environment in which there is no worry of our safety?
Thriller 3The unconscious in human psychology (Freud) vs. the Enlightenment exaltation of reason
Freud () 1Three major elements in the constitution of human subject:-----superego (civilization; morality; education)-----ego (mans basic biological need and pursuit)-----id (the dark, beastly impulses in human psychology)Ex. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (; 1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson
Freud () 2reality principle vs. pleasure principleThe extreme performance of pleasure principle will be destruction
Paranoia ()Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion (). Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. Historically, this characterization was used to describe any delusional state. (from Wikipedia)
alter ego ()An alter ego (Latin, "the other I") is a second self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or original personality. It is a concept indicating that good and evil exist within one person, constantly at war.
alter ego ()The title characters in Robert Louis Stevenson's thriller Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) represents a typical case of alter ego.
The Wretched Life of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)Orphaned child of traveling actorsThe heavy gambling debt and the conflict with the well-off foster parents The subsequent disownment A successful editorThe marriage with his 13-year-old cousinThe mysterious deathFather of modern detective story
Poes exploration of human psychology
Further Associations:Multi-Person Point of ViewHave you ever heard of the film (directed by)?Do you have any idea of by ?
The textPoes vivid imagination of a psychos mind:-----The simultaneous awareness and denial of his illness the weird fantasies -----The obsessive fear of the old mans gaze-----The extreme composure () and discretion () in planning and execution-----The panic or loss of control when things go wrong
The narrators simultaneous awareness and denial of his illnessTRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story. (1)
The narrators simultaneous awareness and denial of his illnessYou fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! . . . . Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this . . . . (2)
The narrators simultaneous awareness and denial of his illnessNever before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers --of my sagacity. (4)
And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? (10)If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. (12)
CompulsionIt seems the narrator compulsively () stresses the discretion and precaution of his action over and over again to prove his sanity.
The narrators obsessive fear of the old mans gazeI think it was his eye () ! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever. (2)?
The narrators obsessive fear of the old mans gazeAnd this I did 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; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. (3)
The narrators obsessive fear of the old mans gazeThe narrators fear of the old mans eye is actually the fear of the inner dark side of himself and his desire to kill the eye is his hard try to kill the dark force in him.
The fear of the old mans eye or the fear of himself?I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. (8)
The old man as the narrators alter ego
The extreme composure () and discretion () in planning and executionYou should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation () I went to work! . . . Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. (3)
The panic or loss of control when things go wrongIt was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage. (10)
The panic or loss of control when things go wrongIt was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. "Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!" (17-18)
The narrators confessionThe narrator finally breaks down when he fails in his try to conquer the fear in him.
QuestionsWhat do you think is the sound the narrator hears when he is going to kill the old man?What do you think is the sound the narrator takes as the old mans heart beat even though he knows clearly that the latter is already dead?Why Poe chooses to employ the first-person point of view to narrate this story?
An Extra NoteOur journalists poor performance by asking the perpetrator () : Do you regret of doing so? The detectives imitation (imagination) of the perpetrators psychological condition in his/her effort to solve the crime.
Further Associations:Other Short Stories by PoeThe Cask of Amontillado The Purloined Letter
Further Associations: British film director Alfred Hitchcock (; 1899 1980 ) and his film Psycho ()
based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch loosely inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein.
Psycho ()The film centers on the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who ends up at a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motels disturbed () owner-manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and its aftermath.
Association: The Silence of the Lambsa 1991 American thriller film () that blends elements of the crime and horror genres
The film is based on Thomas Harris 1988 novel of the same name, his second to feature Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.