The Unreliable Narrator In Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

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In Edgar Poe's short story, The Tell Tale Heart, the narrator is unreliable because he attempts to convince the audience that he is perfectly sane and even brilliant. For example, the narrator attempts to convince the reader that he is sane when he exclaims, “The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell… and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story”(1). This demonstrates that the narrator tries to deceive the reader by claiming that his "disease had sharpened his senses”, and that he can hear “all things in the heaven and in the earth”, as well as in “hell”. The narrator also tries to manipulate the readers into thinking he will tell the story "healthily" and "calmly", and not to think of him as "mad".…show more content…
I moved it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. Ha! Would a madman have been so wise as this?”(3). The narrator boasts about how “you should have seen me." You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution” in a way that we can assume he thinks of himself as brilliant. The narrator also points out “would a madman have been so wise as this” to ensure the reader that everything is under control. Lastly, the narrator displays many signs of insanity when he preaches, “It 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. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard
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