Tell Tale Heart: Analysis of Themes and Elements in Edgar Allan Poe’s Works

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Apr 30, 2024
Read Summary
Cite this
Tell Tale Heart: Analysis of Themes and Elements in Edgar Allan Poe’s Works

This essay will provide an in-depth analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” focusing on its themes and literary elements. It will dissect the narrative techniques Poe uses to create suspense and horror, including the unreliable narrator, detailed descriptions of the protagonist’s mental state, and the use of symbolism. The piece will explore major themes such as guilt, paranoia, and the blurred line between sanity and insanity. The analysis will also place “The Tell-Tale Heart” within the context of Poe’s broader work and the gothic horror genre, highlighting his unique contribution to literature. The overview aims to deepen the reader’s understanding of Poe’s mastery in crafting psychologically complex and macabre stories. Also at PapersOwl you can find more free essay examples related to Edgar Allan Poe.

Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works


The three Edgar Allan Poe books have many similarities and differences to The Gift of the Magi and Raymond’s Run. There are differences in setting, plot, point of view, and symbols. There are similarities in character, conflict, theme, and plot. Although the literature textbook short stories are sort of different, they have more in common than the Edgar Allen Poe books.


Similarities in Plot and Character Development

Raymond’s run and the Edgar Allan Poe books have similar plots.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

In Raymond’s run, the girl is herself and stays true to her personality. “We stand there with this big smile of respect between us. It’s about as real a smile as girls can do for each other, considering we don’t practice real smiling every day, you know because maybe we are too busy being flowers or fairies or strawberries instead of something honest and worthy of respect . . . you know . . . like being people.” In this quote, Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker talks about how being yourself is important and showing respect towards others is part of being yourself. She also explains that you might be caught up in other things, and you aren’t being yourself. This compares to the fall of the House of Usher. In this book, Roderick is not being himself. Roderick lives in a controlling house. He is not allowed to go outside or do anything. Because of this, he has adapted a personality, and he has become insane. He gets distracted by everything because his disease has done something to his hearing. This ties in with both character and plot.

Another way that the Poe books and the books in the textbook are similar is through theme. For example, in the Gift of the Magi, the theme of love is present. One, Jim and Della sacrifice things; they do it because they care. In the Fall of the House of Usher, Roderick in Maddalena shows a sibling type of love when they embrace at the end. “The Usher estate is made to seem as though it is its own isolated world, different and separate from normal reality.” This quote shows that the House of Usher isn’t like a normal house, but their love at the end makes it whole.

Differences in Character Motivations

There are differences between the books from the textbook and the Poe books. In The Gift of the Magi, there is a difference in character from that of The Tell-Tale Heart. “Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling something.” This quote shows that Della is playing something nice for Jim. She wants to get him a Christmas present because she loves him. On the other hand, in Tell-Tale Heart, The madman is planning to kill the old man instead of doing something nice because he hates him.

There is a difference between the setting in Tell-Tale Heart and Raymond’s run. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the story takes place inside a dark, creepy, old house. In Raymond’s run, most of the siding is outside at the park where the annual family event is taking place.


Hazel gives details about the dirt on her hands and her stretching and looking up at the sky. In Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar makes the environment seem chilling and creepy. “I 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.” In this quote, Edgar Allen Poe gives great detail on the circumstances in which the madman lives. The madman lives in fear every day because of the eye; he wants that fear gone.


  1. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems

  2. “Poe Illustrated: Art by Dore, Doré, Doré” by Edgar Allan Poe

  3. “The Annotated Poe” edited by Kevin J. Hayes

  4. “Poe’s Children: The New Horror” edited by Peter Straub

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Tell Tale Heart: Analysis of Themes and Elements in Edgar Allan Poe’s Works. (2023, Sep 03). Retrieved from