Tell Tale Heart
Has anyone read this work by Edgar Allen Poe? I have to teach this to my 8th grade English class next week, and I was wondering what some of you thought of it.
I ask because I'm toying with different methods of pedagogy to approach this assignment. Hopefully, some of you can give me some creative and insightful ideas. Thanks.
I remember doing this in school, in a planet far, far away and many light years ago..........
Poe was one twisted dude, but this one I always thought about, maybe because of being a witness and always having your conscience pricked.
If you have a conscience, and you know you have done something wrong, it will bug you forever. If you do not confess, you will lose your mind and everlasting life. Not necessarily in that order.This may help too..................................................................................................................................................
"The Tell Tale Heart", written by Edgar Allen Poe, eight days is spent with man that deals with his hidden insanity. The nameless character is almost frightened as he plots and achieves in murdering his loving caretaker. When he finishes killing his victim, a policeman is called by a neighbor and arrives at his door. He calmly shows them around the house, yet towards the end of their visit, he starts to get frantic. His insanity leads him to blatantly confess to the deed. The theme in this story, conveyed through conflict, point of view, and suspense, is that every human has an equal balance between good and evil.
Good success on your report!
It was on a camping trip with my fanatical Aunt Esther. It was a pretty young single sister, Debbie, that told us kids the story almost word for word in front of the camp fire. It scared the crap outta me.
Classroom Issues and Strategies
Students confuse Poe's narrator with the author, so that in stories involving drug addiction and murders, students often say "Poe this" and "Poe that" when they mean the narrator of the tale. Poe's reputation for alcohol abuse, drug abuse, poverty, and bizarre personal habits--all exaggerated--often comes up in classroom discussion and should be relegated to the irrelevant. Students ask: "Was he an alcoholic?" "Was he a drug addict?" "Was he insane?" Try to divert attention from such gossip to the themes of Jacksonian America, asking them to ponder the nature and value of Poe's vision.
I would recommend a line-by-line reading, with explanations as you go along. Prepare the class for the Poe story with a quick review of President Andrew Jackson's policies and what is meant by "Jacksonian Democracy." I believe this to be essential for a study of Poe.
Major Themes, Historical Perspectives, and Personal Issues
Stress Poe's affinities with mainstream America. He was culturally informed, rather than isolated, reclusive, and warped. It is unrealistic to ask all teachers to be informed to this extent; but the point should be made, and repeatedly.
It is important to establish the fact that death literature was common in Poe's day, owing to the high mortality rate among the young and middle-class citizens. In some ways Poe participated in the "consolation" movement of this time, by which he attempted to comfort the bereaved.
Questions for Reading and Discussion/ Approaches to Writing
1. Ask the students to express their concept of Poe the man and Poe the author before you begin your studies. Later, hope they have changed their image from the stereotype to something closer to reality. Ask the students to mention more recent figures who compare to Poe. If they say Stephen King, argue the point. I try to introduce them to Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock.
2. Explain the steps involved in the "Initiation Ritual," and then ask the students to trace the initiation pattern in Poe stories. It works out very well for all concerned.