The Tell-Tale Heart is an incredible manifestation of literary suspense and with this single aspect of disillusionment imposed upon the reader, Edgar Allan Poe creates a Gothic short story worthy of a complicated analysis. With alternate fact-based opinions, analyzers debate over the central character's sanity and verity, proclaiming the invalidity of the actual transpirations told of throughout Poe's work. However, with biased but significant evidence, the Tell-Tale Heart can be interpreted as an actual murder which happened within the story which was meticulously executed by an insane or schizophrenic individual.
The recurring central motif featured in Edgar Allan Poe's short story is the beating of a heart. In the initial lines of the tale, the narrator clearly identifies his tribulations with anxiety. This detail leads readers to his heightened senses such as the case with his hearing, commenting he has the ability to hear occurrences in hell and heaven. Due to the narrator's acute nervousness during commonplace events, it can be assumed that his heart would beat at a much higher rate. During his malevolent stalking and eventual killing of the old man, the narrator often hears "the old man's heart beat" which loudly permeates through his chest to become an overpowering tenor. As a human heart cannot surmount such a volume, the narrator must be hearing his own heart-beat accelerating as he executes his schemes. After the man is killed, the narrator is subsequently confronted by police officers, inquiring about shrieks heard by neighbors. When nothing sinister is apparently revealed to them, the police sit by idly on the floorboards where the old man's remains were contained. Soon the narrator notices a tapping, resemblant of a heart-beat and with the polices' presence, the sounds can be seen as the narrator's heart beating more and more rapidly. His removal from his own bodily functions leads him to deduce that the old man's heart is beating under the floorboards.