Paul Witherington’s Analysis of “The Tell-Tale Heart”

In an article by Paul Witherington, Witherington states that he believes that there is an accomplice to the narrator in his murder of the old man. Witherington mentions in his article that the reason there could be an accomplice is due to the way that the narrator is telling the story. The narrator seems to be engrossed in his tale and proud of how he went about the act of the murder. When the narrator is speaking, he seems to be telling his story with a sort of pride that could only be egged on by an eager listener. Witherington also gives several examples as to why the narrator might be having an eager listener. The narrator mentions to the listener that they should have seen how calmly and carefully he went about the murder. This suggests that the accomplice would have known of the plot but was not there to see it carried out. This article has a very different perspective of “The Tell-Tale Heart” due to the fact that it is most often thought to be of the narrator confessing to either a police officer or a psychiatrist. This article gives a completely new viewpoint on this story.

Witherington, Paul. “The Accomplice in ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.'” Studies in Short Fiction. Fall 1985: 471-476. Ebscohost. Web. 18 December 2011.

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