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The Tell Tale Heart Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

If you’re looking for inspiration to write an A+ The Tell-Tale Heart essay, read our guide below. We’ve prepared a bunch of ideas for your point of view analysis, symbolism paper and themes for literary analysis.

First of all, you should define the focus of your essay. Think what you will analyse in your writing: characters, symbols, writing style, etc. The Tell-Tale Heart essay topics below will help you to narrow your research:

1. The Tell-Tale Heart point of view analysis.

Poe wrote the novel from the first-person point of view. The protagonist tells the story of a murder while stating that his sences were destroyed by “the disease” but he’s still sane. Think, why it is important to the book. Is the mad person’s narration reliable?
How different would be the story if it were told by the old man or police officers?

2. Symbols and metaphors in the novel.

If you’re writing The Tell-Tale Heart symbolism essay, you may choose one or few symbols in the story. Below we provide a couple samples of symbolism in the novel:

  • The old man’s eye. Analyze why the eye catches the attention of the killer. The narrator calls it the “vulture eye” and “evil. In your essay you can explain why the narrator does not dare to kill the old man when his eye was closed, and the crime was committed only when he saw the open eye.

You can also analyze how the eye stands for the old man’s identity. The killer believes that the old man “transmits a curse on him” by looking with his Evil Eye.

  • The old man’s heart. The heart in the novel symbolizes the killer’s conscience and his humanity as he finally confesses. Analyze why the narrator hears the heartbeat twice.

Another point to consider in your The Tell-Tale Heart essay is the analysis of the connection between time and heart. Time is compressed and stretched.

It pulses as the heart. But time also symbolizes death and the killer acts as part of a watch. Thus, the heart in the novel symbolizes life, and, through time, it turns out to be a symbol of death.

3. Minimalism in Poe’s writing style.

Typical academic articles are hard to read because of complex words and compound sentences. When you read Poe’s masterpieces, you read them quickly because the author writes in short sentences.

Poe uses many figures of speech like similes, personification, anaphora, and irony. Analyze how these figures help Poe to convey the main idea to the reader.

4. The Tell-Tale Heart characters.

There are four characters you might want to explore in your character analysis: the narrator, police officers, the old man, and the neighbor.

All of them play an important role in the plot. For example, the narrator is mentally ill person who doesn’t make a difference between the “unreal” and “real”. There are also a few signs that he rarely sleeps. You can analyze how his insomnia might impacted his actions and desire to kill.

The old man remains mysterious to the readers. Make a list of The Tell-Tale Heart essay questions that will help you to analyze his character: what we know about him, was he suspicious or not, etc.

If you’re looking for The Tell-Tale Heart essay topics or ideas to add to it, check IvyPanda’s free samples of high-quality papers!

🏆 Best The Tell Tale Heart Topic Ideas & Essay Examples

  1. The Tell- Tale heart (1843)
    This section tackles the main characters of the story and as aforementioned, the narrator and the old man are the only central characters in the story.
  2. The Tell Tale Heart
    However, when the police came to the Old Man’s house he gives himself away to the police because he hears the heart of the old man beating behind the floorboard and this incident may suggest […]
  3. Gothic Romanticism in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Nathaniel Hawthorn’s “The Birthmark”
    In the film “The Black Swan” directed by Darren Aronofsky, Nina struggles to fit into the ultimate role of the play “The Swan Lake”, as the Black Swan, even though she is comfortable playing the […]
  4. The Investigation of Ethical Issues in The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pond
    The secondary problem is related to an ethical dilemma with regards to the responsibility of the husband to provide and care for the family.
  5. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Poe
    This metaphor is necessary to show that the feeling of guilt distorts his perception of reality. This is one of the details that can be distinguished.
  6. Literary Criticism of Edgar Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart from a Psychological Approach
    The outstanding character in the tale, who is also the narrator, attracts a lot of attention from the readers. The narrator forms the basis of the tale.

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"The Tell Tale Heart Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." IvyPanda, 8 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-tell-tale-heart-essay-examples/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Tell Tale Heart Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-tell-tale-heart-essay-examples/.


IvyPanda. "The Tell Tale Heart Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-tell-tale-heart-essay-examples/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "The Tell Tale Heart Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-tell-tale-heart-essay-examples/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Tell Tale Heart Essay Topic Ideas & Examples'. 8 July.

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