Narrator and point of view
The short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe is narrated in the past tense by an unnamed narrator.
The narrator is unreliable. This is made evident from the beginning of the story, as he tries to explain to the readers that he is not mad, even though he is anxious and describes himself as having supernatural senses: “True--nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses” (p. 154, ll. 1-3). He admits to having committed a murder but again denies his mental disorder by arguing that he has planned the murder too carefully to be mad (p. 155, ll. 14-15).
The story is told from a first-person point of view, presenting the narrator’s own experience and interpretation of events: “I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out” (p. 155, ll. 36-38). The narrator also uses the sec...