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The Role of Victim in The Tell-Tale Heart

3 Pages 730 Words February 2018

Sometimes, less is definitely more. Edgar Allen Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" is definitely something that was derived to epitomize that concept. It is quite a short story, running at or less than 4 pages (depending the publication), yet is hailed as one of his masterpieces. While a lot of attention is given to the central character, a narrator who ironically claims to not be a madman yet provides plenty of evidence to the contrary, the role of the victim should not be ignored as well. While only minuscule details are provided about the victim, there are important clues to suggest that perhaps his murder at the hands of the narrator was deeper than what the narrator tried to make the readers believe during the course of the story.
One of the central mysteries of the short story is the identity of the victim. Not much is known about the victim in the story. He was an old man who lived in the same house as the narrator. There are various statements made in the story that can attest to that. For example, the narrator states that "And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night" (Poe 279). This would not be possible if they did not live in the same house. It is almost impossible for two people who did not live in the same house to meet every morning at daybreak. In another instance, the narrator claims to enter the elderly man's room every night for seven nights until he killed him. That would also be impossible if he were not already living in the house. Therefore, there must have been a close relationship between the two.
Since the two shared a house, it is quite possible that the elderly man was the father or a father-like guardian for the narrator. The fact that the narrator tells the audience that "I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult" (Poe 279). Therefor...

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