An Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's Main Characters.
In each of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Fall of the House of Usher", and "The Cask of Amontillado", Poe writes each main character with different personalities although some similar traits can be found in all his main characters. The way they react to other people and their own actions differ with each personality that Poe gives them. .
In the story "The Tell-Tale Heart" the narrator is the main character. He starts off the story by convincing the reader he is not a madman. Insanity is one personality trait that is usually linked to all Poe characters. What makes this character insane is the motive behind his murder plot of an old man. His only motive he gives is the old man's eye, "I think it was his eye!-Yes, it was this!" (Poe pg. 727). In the quote given before the narrator uses the phrase "I think" not fully knowing without a doubt the old man's eye was his real reason for committing murder. He convinces himself that the old man's eye is why he feels he must kill him. This character has linked all his hatred toward the man's eye as an excuse for murder, but one imperfection does not justify death. In this case the eye is not even an imperfection, it is described as pale blue with a film over it, much like many other blue eyes. The only difference between the old man's eye and normal eyes is the fact he feels this eye was watching the narrator. The narrator feels he is being constantly watched or judged by the eye. The feeling of paranoia is a trait found in all of Poe's characters also. The narrator in this story is very meticulous and detailed in planning the murder. He gives this as another reason why he is not insane. Even when committing the murder he could not have the eye watch him as he did it so he smothers the man beneath his own bed. He is also very detailed in concealing the body, supporting his own idea of sanity, because someone insane would not being able to carry out such a crime so well organized.