Edgar Allen Poe Tell Tale Heart examining Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, and Theme.
Delusional: The narrator states that he is completely rational, but his obsessive, manic, and homicidal behavior says otherwise.
Nervous, mad, disease, destroyed, Hell, “my blood ran cold”, “to take the life”, “rid myself... forever”.
“I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it.”
The narrator attempts to use rhetoric to make the reader believe that he is not insane. “TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?”; “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. …”.
The narrator states resolutely that he is not insane. However, it is clear that he is disturbed. The theme of this work is that not all narrators are reliable. Just because they present their reality, does not mean the reader has to accept it as truth.