Free Essay: The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis and Comparison to Other Stories

Published: 2022-09-12
Free Essay: The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis and Comparison to Other Stories
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Edgar Allan Poe The Yellow Wallpaper
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1147 words
10 min read

The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis

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Stories could be sources of information and entertainment. At times, it is fascinating to picture the author's vision of a narrative. The tell-tale heart is one of Edgar Allan's publications written in the first-person point of view that discusses a character suffering from a mental illness. The story follows a narrative of a person who tries to prove his sanity after killing an old man. On the other hand, The Yellow Wallpaper is a story that shows how two actors are trapped in their gender roles (Dosani, 2018). The main actor Jane suffers a nervous condition that brings frustrations of not being able to express her needs. The Strawberry Spring book is a narrative of a serial killer called "Springheel Jack" that murdered a girl in a campus. The three stories seem to have a theme of murder and mental disorder in the characters.

The Yellow Wallpaper and the Tell-Tale Heart Comparison

Both stories have a common theme that discusses the mental imprisonment of the characters that leads to mental disorder and insanity. Another common trait in the narratives is that they are all told in the first-person view since the actors seem to be speaking out of the experiences ("About a comparison between "The tell-tale heart" and "The Yellow Wallpaper"). Insanity has been discussed in depth by both writers in their stories and to some extent, disturbs the readers. From the two narratives, it is easy to tell that the Tell-Tale heart narrator is unreliable since the narrator's efforts to prove his sanity contradicts the actions he has done. In the narrative, the killer says he loved the old man and yet he recalls the events that led to him killing the man.

The unreliability can be proven in an except where the narrator after killing the old man thinks he can be telepathic and read into the police officers' minds. He says "Yet the officers heard not. Was it possible they heard not? ". The narrator shows some symptoms of delusion since he is suffering from hallucinations and constructs that seem to be on his mind. Furthermore, in the story, the relationship between the old man and the narrator is not well defined ("About a comparison between "The tell-tale heart" and "The Yellow Wallpaper"). The narrator in the Tell-Tale Heart says "For his gold I had no desire." Such a situation makes the readers question the kind of relation the narrator had to the old man. Also, the motive that the narrator had as the reason to murder the old man is completely insane. The narrator explains that the old man's eye was the reason behind his murder which makes it completely difficult for the reader to rely on the narrator's plea of sanity.

Unlike the Tell-Tale Heart narrator, the Yellow Wallpaper narrative has been well explained and crafted to show the problems that Jane was facing. The book (Yellow Wallpaper) criticizes the role of women in marriage in the early centuries. Jane in the story is unable to express her feelings on certain aspects of culture expectations forcing her to do what her brother and husband wanted to be done ("About a comparison between "The tell-tale heart" and "The Yellow Wallpaper"). At least in the Yellow Wallpaper narrative, a motive was established which can be traced to the root problem, which caused the narrator to have mental self-destruction. The difference in reliability between the two narratives can be seen hence the conclusion that the narrator in the Tell-Tale Heart is fully unreliable.

Strawberry Spring and Tell-Tale Heart Comparison

The Strawberry Spring narrative is based on a memory of an actor of an event that took place eight years ago when he was studying in the campus. During that time, the serial killer who is called "Springheel Jack" in the story happens to kill four students in the same campus. It started with the murder of a girl whose body was found in a parking lot, and a mixed reaction erupted in the campus ("Review - Strawberry Spring & Tell-Tale Heart," 2006). The rumors about the killing led to the arrest of the arrest of the victim's boyfriend who in the story is called "Carl Amalara." Fortunately for him, another killing happened while he was in custody and led to his release. The investigation proved difficult due to the panic that was amongst the police and the community. The killer was never arrested, and eight years after the incident, Strawberry Spring comes back again, and another victim is found dead.

The events occur in the same institution and "Springheel Jack" once again returns in the same period as it had happened eight years ago. It was at that point that the narrator questioned his conscience on the occurrence of the incident eight years ago ("Review - Strawberry Spring & Tell-Tale Heart," 2006). Surprisingly, the narrator finds it odd that he could not recall where he was during the night of the murder. All he had were bits of information about that night, and he ends up suspecting his involvement as "Springheel Jack." Just like the Yellow Wallpaper and Tell-Tale heart, the Strawberry Spring analyses how the narrator questions his memory in the involvement of the murders. The narrator believes that he has been "Springheel Jack" all along.

The narrator is somewhat reliable despite the contradiction of whether or not he was the serial killer. Unlike the narrator in the Tell-Tale Heart, the unnamed character of Strawberry Spring has a conscious mind and does not depict a psychopath character ("Review - Strawberry Spring & Tell-Tale Heart," 2006). The character in the narrative appears to have memory loss on the events of the murder, and it appears that he unknowingly murdered his victims. In the Tell-Tale Heart narrative, the narrator was conscious of his actions but still tries to prove his innocence. It is, therefore, true to conclude that the narrator in the Strawberry Spring is reliable than that of the Tell-Tale Heart.


The three stories appear to be horror narratives that deal with people with mental issues. However, two of the narratives; The Strawberry Spring and Yellow Wallpaper seems to have reliable narrators unlike the narrator in the Tell-Tale Heart story. In addition, it can be observed that the Narrator in the Tell-Tale Heart story seems to be delusional, insane and unreliable in his quest to prove his sanity. The narrator also seems to have mixed feelings on his victim who seems to claim to love the old man but still ended up killing him.


About a comparison between "The tell-tale heart" and "The Yellow Wallpaper." (n.d.). Retrieved from

Dosani, S. (2018). The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: a gothic story of postnatal psychosis-psychiatry in literature. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 213(1), 411-411.

Review - Strawberry Spring & Tell-Tale Heart. (2006, February 14). Retrieved from

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