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Updated: 11/9/2020
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  • The eye in the story “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe represents persistence and patience. The text states, “And this I did for seven long nights—every night just at midnight—but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye” (Poe 84). This quote demonstrates the symbolism of the eye because every night, he would patiently wait for the man’s eye to be open, and he would continue to go back every night and wait for the eye to open. The text also states, “And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel—although he neither saw nor heard—to feel the presence of my head within the room. When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little—a very, very little crevice in the lantern” (Poe 85). This quote shows that the eye is symbolizing patience and persistence because he was again patiently waiting for the man to go to bed for him to kill him. Hence, in the story “The Tell Tale Heart,” the eye represents patience. It also represents persistence.
  • “It was open—wide, wide open—and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness—all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot” (Poe 85). This quote shows imagery by showing another description of the eye, and its appearance, so the reader knows what it has the appearance of. It appeals to the sense of sight.
  • “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye!” (Poe 82). This quote demonstrates that the man does not like his neighbor, which plays a large part of the plot in the story, and eventually leads up to his neighbor’s death.
  • “With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once—once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him” (Poe 85). This quote shows how the man leaped at his neighbor, dragged him to the floor and smothered him under the bed, so that the man was dead.
  • "The Tell-TaleHeart"
  • “Yet the sound increased—and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound—much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath—and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly—more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased” (Poe 87). The quote appeals to your hearing or sound because it describes the sound that the main character is feeling, which helps us relate to the characters.
  • “‘Villains!’ I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed!—tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beating of his hideous heart!” (Poe 87). The last line is important because this quote shows that his insanity eventually drove him mad, and caused him to admit to his wrongdoing.
  • “He had the eye of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever” (Poe 82). This quote appeals to your eyes because it vividly describes the appearance of the man’s eye.
  • Eerie
  • Bone- chilling
  • Suspenseful
  • Mysterious
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