The Tell-Tale Heart
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‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ poem is worth studying as a part of the process of acquiring diverse literary skills. It goes without saying that the poem encompasses several elements of literature that are intricately related so that learners can easily comprehend them. For instance, the author perfectly uses symbolism in combination with irony in a manner that has never been found elsewhere. While learners may underestimate this due to the shortness of the poem, the few pages are undoubtedly rich in symbolism and irony. Eventually, learners of literature will certainly appreciate this literary skill and apply it to foster greater understanding of literature. A typical example is when the narrator uses the monologue of the murderer to prove that indeed the murderer was insane. It becomes clear from the murderer’s insistence on being sane that he is deranged. He says, "You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded . . ." (Poe 121). In real life, a sane murderer would probably use insanity to claim innocence. However, this is a unique case that the murderer is doing the exact opposite. Indeed, such elements of literature provide comic relief for the readers as well as help understand the poem more deeply.
The poem also provides real life lessons on how to treat people with mental illness. According to literature, the manner in which the narrator behaves towards murderer in this poem shows clearly how to play mind games with persons possessing paranoid schizophrenia. A typical example is the case of laying claim that the murderer is insane. In response, the murderer vehemently denies being insane, even considering it derogatory. However, the context of the denial leaves the reader with no doubt that indeed the murderer had mental misfits. It goes without saying that this is particularly a good lesson that readers can get with regards to handling patients with mental problems. According to literature on psychology, schizophrenia entails excessive concern for oneself and inability to coordinate facts about life. These were quite manifested in the murderer in this poem. Although it was not originally intended by the author, considering that schizophrenic studies were not developed, it could play a critical role in the current studies on human mental capacity.
The poem is worth studying in that it has pertinent themes as well as moral lessons. For instance, the theme of emotion and its implications in the society is quite clear in the poem. It goes without saying that the narrator is consumed by emotions when he commits the crime. As a matter of fact, he considers it a disease that has essentially sharpened his senses of livelihood and made him commit outrageous crimes. This helps learners to appreciate that emotions are a part of human beings but can certainly cause them pain and suffering in equal measures. Thus, it forewarns the readers of these consequences rather than letting them have a first-hand experience.
In conclusion, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ poem is worth studying as part of the process of acquiring diverse literary skills like symbolism and irony. This certainly helps the reader to understand the deeper meaning of the poem. In addition, the poem also provides real life lessons on how to treat people with mental illness. Besides, the poem has pertinent themes as well as moral lessons. For instance, the theme of emotion and its implications in the society are quite clear in the poem. These forewarn the reader of these consequences rather than letting them have a first-hand experience.
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