You are on page 1of 4

The Evil Side of the Narrator

Edgar Allen Poes stories, The Tell Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Cask Of
Amontillado, all had a narrator giving us a first person view to the audience. However, the
narrator is unreliable because he is the entity of evil. First of all, the narrators own character
development in each stories describe the narrator as being evil. Secondly, the tones that the
narrator gives to the audience are very closely related to being evil. Thirdly, the point of view
that the narrator gives us is unreliable because the narrator is hiding the evil with an inexcusable
reason. The narrator is unreliable because the narrator is the entity of evil.
The narrators own character development describes the narrator as evil. In the Tell Tale
Heart, the narrator talks about this evil eye when the narrator says,
And this I did for seven long nights- every night just at midnight-but I found the eye
always closed; and so it was impossible for me to do the work; for it was not the old man who
vexed me but [the] evil eye(11)

There is reason to believe that he is not talking about the old mans eye but himself because there
is no reason to why the eye bothered him so much and why he wanted to kill him because of that.
In The Black Cat, the narrator tries to kill the cat but instead kills his wife and buries her in the
wall when the narrator says,
The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish
on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly and said to
myself Here at least, my labor has not been in vain(15)

The narrator did not care about the wife but care about the wall, which is evil. Did the narrator
plan to kill his wife and not the cat? In the Cask of Amontillado, the narrator describes putting
his friend in a wall and burying him when the narrator says,
I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of
Fortunato had in a great measure worn off(25)

Fortunato was the narrators friend and he lead Fortunato to this wine and then buries him in the

tombs. That is truly evil to do that to a friend unless the narrator was planning to kill the friend

for no specific reason because the narrator is an evil psychopath. The tone in the stories is related

to character development for the same reason: evil.

In the Tell Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Cask of Amontillado, the tones in each of

the stories are indirectly leading to evil. In the Cask of Amontillado, there is an ironic tone in the

story that the narrator says,
Yes, Yes I said; Yes, Yes You? Impossible! A mason, I replied A sign, he said.
It is this! I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of my roquelaire(22)

The narrator talks about how he is a mason but not the mason he is talking about, which is ironic

because he is talking about masonry as he brings out a trowel, which the friend does not know, is

going to be used to kill him. In the Black Cat, there is an accusing tone being used in the story

when the narrator says,
I aimed a blow at the animal, which, of course, would have been proved instantly fatal
had it descended as I wished. But the blow was arrested by the hand of my wife . Goaded
by the interference into a rage more than demonical, I withdrew my arm from her grasp
and buried the axe in her brain. (14-15)

He was aiming for the cat but he killed his wife. Was he really trying to aim for the cat or did he

really aim at his wife and killed her during the second swing? The cat is a symbol, a symbol to

blame, to hide his evil doing to his wife. In the Tell Tale heart, there is a fear tone that the

narrator when he describes,
I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture- a pale blue eye with a
film over it

Why would someone kill an old man because of being afraid of his eye? That is an inexcusable

reason to kill someone. I believe that the narrator was afraid that the old man could see the evil

within him and so he had to kill him. The tone and the point of view also are the same because

they relate to evil.

The point of view in the Tell Tale Heart, the Black Cat, and The Cask of Amontillado

Because it is a first person point of view; however the narrator is evil and is biased. In the Tell

Tale Heart, the evil is hidden in the story when the narrator says,
Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never
gave me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! (3)

That was the only unbiased line there was because he did not desire anything nor had the old

man done anything wrong to him. The old man saw evil in the narrator. In the Black Cat, the

narrator was blaming alchol for doing everything that he did in the story when the narrator says,
Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which, my general
temperament and character- through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance...
At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the
change in my disposition. I had not only neglected, but ill-used them. (9)

The narrator blamed the use of alcohol for the ill-use of his pets and the personal violence of his

wife. Then he was being evil. Then, he blames the cat for killing his wife when really the cat did

not do anything to him at all. In the Cask of Amontillado, the narrator believes that the friend \

insults him but that was not the case when the narrator had said,
I had looked at him in surprise. He repeated the movement- a grotesque one. You do not
comprehend? he said. Not I, I replied. Then you are not of the brotherhood How
You are not of the masons (21)
The Masons were a secret organization of rich and powerful people and his friend, Fortunato,

was a mason(to be believed in the story). Fortunato was rich and powerful and Fortunato thought

Montressor, the narrator, was poor. The narrator killed his friend for money and hid that by

faking about insults and whatnot. All of these connect to why the narrator is evil.
The narrator is unreliable because he is the entity of evil. The character development

relates to evil, the tone relates to evil, the first person view hides a lot of the evil within a reason.

The narrator is the entity of evil, the reason why he is unreliable was because being the entity of

Evil(which had many different definitions) is biased. If the narrator was reliable then he should

have looked at other points of view rather than his own. In conclusion, these reasons are why the
narrator is

Related Interests