This article explains the annotation of The Tell-Tale using various techniques. These include the use of symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone and theme.
The writer has used symbolism vividly in his article. This is evident when the narrator says that he is not mad while he does not act normally. The writer has used a vulture in showing how the narrator viewed the old man’s eye to symbolize the narrator’s lack of concern towards the suffering man. This is similar to a vulture which preys on other animals without considering that those animals also have rights to life. The story shows the narrator being against the other human being not because of dislike but because he has a pale blue eye which he sees as an obstacle to his own well being. He kills the man because he cannot stand observing a horrifying sight. He has become allergic to seeing the other man’s eye and when he makes his final decision he says ‘it haunted me day and night’. His actions are similar to those of the vulture which is always obsessed with carcasses and predates on any carcass in the vicinity. He thus as a final point bears the brunt of a vulture by killing the other man.
The old man’s eye is also symbolic in that it can mean the character has problems with his outlook of the world. He is stuck. Everything is blurred from him.
The eye has also been used to show that it can sometimes do strange things. This is evident when the narrator says that the other man’s eyes make his blood run cold. He also claims that the sight of the other man’s eye chills the marrow in his bones.
The writer has also used the watch to illustrate various themes. A watch is a device that tells time. The narrator likens himself to a watch watching the old man’s demise. He controls the old man’s time of death. Thus he is like a walking death watch. Also, the old man’s heart is metaphorically a watch as can be seen in the story. In the first passage it watches and counts down the time before the man’s death. Then in the second passage, it wakes itself so it is able to tell about the time it witnessed the man’s death, in a sense reminding the narrator of the things that had taken place.
The lantern has also been used by the writer. It is a cool device .On the other hand one can adjust it to get as little or as much light as one wants. The narrator prefers to only allow one ray to escape. He uses the light as a point of dislike to the other man’s eye. This is what is evidenced on the eighth night. It is also a sign that there is light in the darkest places. If a person figures his way of getting the lanterns open, he can see it.
The bedroom has also been ironically used by the narrator. The narrator goes against the norms of the bedroom, by taking advantage of one who is sleeping. Poe depicts the narrator using the bed as a way to kill the old man. And since the bed is the weapon of murder in this instance, it is also a fact that the bed can be a death place.
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