The Gothic Protagonist

Contrasting Ideas

In the story The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, there is a gothic protagonist in the story. This protagonist is very unknown such as the gender, name and other unknown ideas. This character has a very contrasting qualities such as caring and barbaric. Before he kills the old man he says that “I did not hate the old man; I even loved him”; but then after he kills the old man he “…cuts off the head, then the arms and legs.” which shows us (the audience) that he has a very barbaric quality he has which is very contrasting with the caring side of him. 

Another contrasting quality is how very thoughtless yet he is also mindful. He very thoughtless kills the man and cuts up the old man, but when he is cutting up the old man he “… was careful not to let a single drop of blood fall to the floor….Then I put the boards down again, carefully, so carefully that no human eye could see that they had been moved”, which is a very contrasting quality with the thoughtless him cutting the old man up.

Driven by passion or strong emotions.

At the beginning of the strop the main character says that they would kill the man over the scariness of his eye, ” His eye was like a vulture….”; due to the fact of the uncomfortableness of the eye and the fact that the main character is insane the main character, goes and kills the old man, cut the old man up into five pieces, and carefully put them under the floor boards in the room. A few minutes later the police comes and walk around the house. Over this period of time the main character keeps hearing this sound, the sound of what they think as the old man’s heart beating, when it is the main character’s heart beating. When the police sit down the sound of the main character’s heart beat increases, until it drives the main character to confess to killing the old man and showing the police where the main character placed the old man’s body. When the main character kills the old man the strong emotion of anger towards the eye makes the main character kill the old man, and then the guilt from killing the old man is also there after he kills the old man, which is why the main character’s heart was beating. The main character’s heart beating was the symbol of his strong guilt building up until the main character confessed.

Generally secretive/ has an “air mystery”

We have no nothing about this main character, we don’t know how this person is ill, we know nothing about his background or anything about this person at all. The main character says that “I have been ill” but we have no idea what type of ill; until the main character says “I full control of my mind”, which leads us to believe that it might be a head injury or illness, such as the main character being insane. We no nothing about who this person is, where this person is from, or how he knows the old man he kills. We don’t even know what gender this person is.



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