Saturday, March 19, 2011

Excellent Reads: Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"

Being a reading fanatic, I love to seek out some nice and peaceful spare time and just read a book. With Caponomics, I was hoping to share some books that I've read and liked so much, that I believe you should read as well. While Poe's "Tell-Tale" is not a book, it is a short story, and you should seek it out and read it if you already haven't. You can find it in the majority of Poe's work collections and you can even find it online. These days, it's very simple to seek out well-known short stories like that online. It doesn't matter how you check it out, just check it out. I am going to warn you about some key spoilers in the upcoming paragraph, so read at your own discretion.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is a tale of horror about an insane, psychopathic man (the narrator) who murders an old man with a scary looking eye. After doing so, he chops up the body and gives it a burial... by ripping up the floorboards and stuffing it in. The police come and investigate the area, and ask the man what is going on. The reason for the title comes from the beating heart that the man continues to hear under the floorboards, and whether it's truly beating or not, it causes the man to go over the deep end.

If you have read the previous paragraph, you will probably not be as shocked or surprised about what occurs in the story. However, it's still worth reading, because the way everything is explained and how the story leads up to the climax is something you shouldn't miss. The way in which everything is explained is something that cannot be included in a column like this. It's something that you're going to have to do on your own time. Even if this were more literary, the story is so good that quoting it would give less credit to it.

Edgar Allan Poe can be called a pioneer of horror fiction, or even the pioneer of horror fiction. He paved the path for those after him who made a name for themselves in this genre of writing. Like most of his work, "The Tell-Tale Heart" had some kind of inspiration on his life. A possible origin could have been a thought about the floorboards in Poe's bedroom. Back in the 1800's, people used to stuff their money under the floorboards. They would cut open a certain amount of space and stuff the money inside, and then make it so no one would have any thought of the floorboards serving that purpose. Poe probably had the thought of "what if we use the floorboards to stuff a human body" and that was the central idea that made way for one of the craziest works of fiction of all time. Whether or not it was his exact idea is unknown, but there's a strong chance that it's something very similar. You can visit his bedroom along with several other parts of his house by visiting the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Philadelphia, which is where he lived for a period of time in the 1840's.

I'm more of a novel reader, but short stories are an important part of literature. The positives of the art of short story writing is that it is a sample of what an author can do, kind of like an appetizer. If you like the short story well enough, you'll be attracted to read more from that author. Edgar Allan Poe's work was almost all short stories and poems, but it was still excellent. "The Tell-Tale Heart," in particular, is one of American Literature's most insane pieces of fiction. If you like to read, check this out! If you're into horror fiction, you have probably checked it out already. If you haven't, I don't know why you're still reading this, check this out! Now!

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