Edgar Allan Poe was yet another writer interested in psychology and the darker side of human nature. His fiction belongs to the Southern, rather than the New Engled, writing traduction. It is for more romantic in language and imagery.
Poe made important contributions to American literature in three areas: the short story, literary criticism and poetry.
Many of Poe’s tales of horror are known troughout the world. His method was to put his characters into unusual situations. Next, he would carefully describe their feelings of terror or guilt. The greatest examples of this kind of story are:”The Pit and the Pendulum”(1841),”The Tell-Tale heart”(1843),”The black cat”(1843). The author, here rarely shows the actual object of horror; rather,the reader use his imagination.
In this story ,”The Tell-Tale heart”, gothic elements are present everywhere: in the speech of the narrator, in “Evil eye” of the old man. From the beggining the mad man tells the story from his point of view using first person. The idea that are not many characters in this short story makes this to be more interesting and exciting. On the other hand the lack of communication between them might be an unhappy depth of the innerselves.
Strong gothic elements are: nervousity, fury of the mad man, the fear of the old man.
The narrator considers himself to be a cruel hunter, a killer.This feeling is given by his mad mind thinking that the victim is just a “poor old man”.
The “Evil Eye” represents an important gothic element.The desire of killing the old man starts from the existence of this eye, an eye which is a symbol of destruction, the dark side of subconscious(a pretext to kill somebody). In reality this eye it didn’t exist, it was only in narrator’s mind.
Sometimes the narrator addresses the reader directly establishing a relationship. This relationship is a gothic element because the reader has to imagine all the bad things that are going to happen. Only with this imagination the reader will be capable to see what is going to happen on the night of the murder, because his mind(reader’s mind) will be there, in the room.
The crime itself, the fact that the narrator repeated by rejects the suggestion that he is mad sumber, dark, mystery, description of the whole week before the crime creates important gothic elements.
From sentence like: “The old man’s hour had come!”,”His eye would trouble me no more”,”First of all I dismembered the corpse. I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber and deposited all between the scatlings”, the reader can realise that the narrator is indeed a mad man (the presence of a mad man is another gothic element).
At the end of the story, we can see that the author wants to punish the killer, thing that makes this story to have an original ending. The fact that the mad man recognises his murder, makes us to realise that even mad people can have consciousness.