I captivating because they represent a basic aspect

 I also felt Poe uses his words
economically in the “The Tell-Tale Heart” to provide a study of both paranoia
and mental deterioration. Poe strips the story of excess detail to heighten the
murderer’s obsession with specific and unadorned entities: the old man’s eye,
the heartbeat, and his own claim to sanity. The style Poe uses, and his pointed
language contribute to the narrative content. One could suggest this represents
paranoia.

I noticed like ”The Masque of the Red Death” the
denouement is key for the unity of effect, likewise with ”The Tell-Tale Heart”:
”I admit the
deed! – tear up the planks – here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous
heart!” (Poe, 1843, 10). It is the narrator’s belief that he is not mad, but that
he heard the heart of the old man still beating. I believe Poe has given one of
the most powerful examples of the capacity of the human mind to deceive itself
and then to speculate on the nature of its own destruction.

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 I
learned from the lectures that the language used in the story flies apart, just
like the narrator’s mind. Unreliable narrators are captivating because they
represent a basic aspect of being human. We all experience moments of
unreliability, where we can’t perceive or remember events accurately. We all
get confused and do and say things we don’t mean or don’t mean to do or say. In
a story like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” this unreliability is taken very
far.  

The narrator says that due to his powerful
sense of hearing; “he can hear all things in the heaven and in the earth and
many things in hell” (Poe, 1843, 1). Sometimes, he also pretends to be an all-knowing
narrator. He informs us how the old man feels and what the old man is thinking:
“Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal
terror. I knew the sound well. Many a night it has welled up from my own
bosom” (Poe, 1843, 5). The narrator’s insight into the man’s head is just
a reflection of his own experience. However, what’s to say he is not right?  

Most of Poe’s stories have a kind of fun
and playful feel to them despite their themes of death, murder, and betrayal,
“The Tell-Tale Heart” makes one want to shed a tear. It seems to me
that the narrator has had a tough life, this will only get worse after he murdered
someone and then confessed out of madness. Poe wrote that “Melancholy is the most
legitimate of all the poetical tones” (Poe, The Philosophy of Composition,
1846). Most of Poe’s narrators are unreliable first-person narrators. They won’t
tell us what is truly happening. The narrator is trying to prove that he is
sane. The fact that he can conceal his thoughts offers proof for the reader
that he is sane.

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