Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Edgar Allen Poe Delivers Evil Eyes and Guilt in The Tell-Tale Heart

by M. J. Joachim
Guilt is a funny thing, there’s no denying it! As you read ATell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, you find yourself suddenly taken into the world of a madman’s psyche. The main character is utterly bonkers! His dual personality depicts the battle of good and evil to a T.

Not surprisingly, evil triumphs as fears continuously plague him – not fears of danger, mind you. This guy is “afraid” (or perhaps disturbed is a better word for it) of the evil eye. Well, symbolically speaking, one can only wonder what this evil eye truly represents in the story. Is it the Eye of God? Does it trigger memories for him of a morose childhood and remind him of the evil eye of his mother, father or some other authority figure?

No matter. The story is much more for our benefit than we know. You see, we’ve all been plagued by an evil eye at one point or another in our lives, haven’t we? Without a doubt, we’ve wished to rid ourselves of this unsightly glare that diminishes who we are with a single glance. Shamefully, we cower under such scrutiny – even when there’s nothing to cower for, because we truly haven’t done anything. It’s enough to make anyone mad, which is why the opening paragraphs in A Tell-Tale Heart are so realistic, prophetic and true.

Get to the point already! For such a short story, it takes quite a while to transition into what the effects of an evil eye can do to a person – how they can mess with one’s mind, causing it to do things quite normally incomprehensible. Crossing over is a task worth fighting at every turn, and if you lose the battle, there’s positively no turning back!

I simply can’t ruin the ending for you, good people. Suffice to say, responses to the evil eye are not the only things that mess with one’s psyche. Guilt also has a way of eating us alive; when it does so, there’s no telling what we might do!

Next up, one of Edgar Allen Poe’s poems, Eldorado...

That’s all for now, good people! Until next time, I wish you wellJ

M. J.

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Photo Credit: Wikicommons, GNU Free Documentation License