Short Story Review: The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart was first published in 1843 and is a short story by the American writer Edgar Allen Poe. It was then subsequently published as part of Poe’s Book – Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

The story is told by an unnamed narrator that tries to convince the reader that he is not mad but provoked and haunted by the ‘evil’ eye of the old man, taunted almost, and to rid himself of the eye, he must murder the old man that he loved very much. It follows him as he walks us through his calculated and cunning plan to commit the murder, all while declaring his sanity.

What I really like about Poe’s works, is that you can expect his narrators to be unreliable, making the reader unable to really know whether to trust him or not. In this case, the narrator is trying to mask his true intentions and feelings by his attempt to prove his sanity by exercising dissimulation. What’s to say he isn’t using dissimulation on us too?

What I think is both a strength and weakness of The Tell-Tale Heart is Poe’s style of writing, it can be quite maddening, with his short sentences leave me with questions as to the meaning, and his longer sentences are precisely worded and descriptive. It is so carefully worded, which highlights Poe’s exquisite talent as a writer, that it highlights the angle of the narrator’s chaotic mind.

I really like Poe’s work, and I have a copy of Tales of Mystery and Imagination. What I will take forth with me from this piece was his narrators’ deception and use of dissimulation, I like that the reader doesn’t know whether to trust what he says as truth or not.

Poe, E.A. (1843). The tell-tale heart. Retrieved from

https://www.poemuseum.org/the-tell-tale-heart

The Man in the Painting

Available in English, Korean, and Chinese.

Life as Gabrielle knew it is no more. Thrust into a world she never knew existed, she is captivated by the face of a man in an animated painting. Then she finds herself being hunted, and the more she learns, the more her life is in danger. She is protected by a powerful immortal, but is it more than just protection? Could the man in the painting be her destiny? Only time will tell who will be able to save her. Enjoy the first episode of The Man in the Painting Series.

English version available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books (iTunes).

Korean version available on Google Play Bookstore and Apple Books (iTunes).

Chinese version available on Google Play Bookstore.

Imagery Analysis: In the Empire of Genghis Khan – Prologue by Stanley Stewart

The olfactory of the ‘scent of grass’ and ‘freshly mown grass’, is a distinguishable smell that can place the reader to inside the story.

Tactile imagery is conveyed through the ‘skinned knees’ and his grandmother brushing and straightening his clothes. 

The story is brought to life by the sound of the stallion prancing through a pile of autumn leaves.  I close my eyes and can hear the vivid sound of crunching leaves.  The ‘galloping’ horse, closing my eyes, I can hear the horses’ hooves.  His grandmother’s voice is vivid, ‘looping…like a rope’; ‘long lasso’; and ‘the mooring of’.

Visual imagery follows a theme of twilight, ‘atmosphere of twilight and of horses’, ‘evenings, in the long dusk’, ‘when it grew dark’, ‘each evening in the slow descent of an Irish twilight’.  The organic imagery I feel when reading this was gloom, ‘between the graves’, ‘galloping between the trees in the thickening gloom’.

The visual language used gives me a clear picture of the village, from ‘top of an Irish village with views…to the Mountains’, ‘raised pavement…along the churchyard wall…arch of lime trees’, ‘freshly mown grass and piles of autumn leaves’, ‘sat in a throne of leaves…Mountains…shouldered the horizon’, ‘the mountains were dark and mesmerising’.  ‘Skinned knees…leaves in my hair’, I can visualise the boy coming home from a day of adventures.

The kinaesthetic language, ‘fallen’; ‘pranced’; ‘leapt’; ‘galloping’; ‘tugged’, makes the story present. 

Stewart used similes like ‘her voice looping in the lingering twilight like a rope’.  This line is alliteration for the use of ‘l’, as well as ‘long lasso’, and ‘m’ for ‘mysterious Mongolians’.

There is a strong use of assonance: ‘knees and leaves’, long ‘e’ sound; ‘played…raised pavement…ran…churchyard wall…an arch…’, long ‘a’ sound; ‘stopped…thrones of…south …Mountains of Mourne shouldered the horizon…’, long ‘o’ sound; ‘I liked its unruliness…its ambiguities…live up…idea…it…imply’, long ‘u’ and short ‘i’ sound.

Five Senses: Waiting outside a school at pickup time

Sight: Mums sitting in cars scrolling through their phones.

An older woman wearing a baby pink tee is standing at the window of her house, behind the blinds, scowling at the cars parked in the street.

A green, lustrous hedge runs along a lemon concrete wall. The hedge is crooked, dipping in height.

Sound: A hollow drone of a muffler.

Birds chirping.

Cars doors opening and closing.

Power tools grinding in the distance, like a sander.

The low full thwamp of a bass beating from a cars sound system.

Scent: Rain coming

Taste: Sticky, musty, stale air.

Touch: the smoothness of my hand rubbing my jeans.

The warm rubber of the steering wheel.