Life: A Reinterpretation of a Poe Passage

In the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart“, Edgar Allan Poe writes the story of a madman, who fears the judgment of the eye of an old man. Poe explores the story in the eye of the madman, only allowing the reader to view the thoughts of the madman. However, in my interpretation, I created a new character, Life – a personified figure of life – and wrote the story in third person limited. Only her thoughts and her actions were revealed. This made the story more limited and biased against the madman. Moreover, new aspects of the story are unveiled as well as some sprinkles of fiction. For instance, in my story, “She[Life] immediately put herself inside the body of his neighbors and called the police…” Further, life was the one that made the heartbeat: “Slowly, she started to create a loud and steady pulse, louder and louder, quicker and quicker.”


She was worried, she was scared that another life would be gone. Every night, she went to the old man’s house, waiting for the madman. He shut the old man’s da**ed eye before he came in. For seven nights, she tried to save the old man from Death.


However, the eighth night, she was late. When she heard alerting bell ringing inside her head, she knew that the old man was in danger.She couldn’t take in another innocent life, she wasn’t ready. She sprinted to the old man’s house, hoping she had a chance to save him but, it was too late. The madman had already cut the old man’s legs and hands, he was stone dead. The madman hid the body underneath the floor, so cunningly, the human eye – not even his- could have detected anything wrong. He can’t get away with this, she thought with anger. She immediately put herself inside the body of his neighbors and called the police, telling them she heard a scream next door. She went out of the neighbor’s body, went back to the old man’s house for the police


Soon, the police arrived, and the madman appeared at the door with a smile on his face. He was crazier than she thought he was, he had so much confidence. Nobody would know what he did. Without a single change on his face, he explained to the officers that he had a dream, and that’s why there was a scream next door reported by the neighbor. The officers searched all over the house, as she hoped they would find the body. But it was very nicely hidden, she had to admit. Until then, the madman invited the officers to have a rest. He pulled out two chairs, as if it was his own property, and carefully placed his chair on top of the hidden body. All of a sudden, an idea popped up into her mind. She could use the sign of life, a heartbeat, to alert the officers. Her one and only power, making a heartbeat, could capture a madman. Slowly, she started to create a loud and steady pulse, louder and louder, quicker and quicker. She tried her best so the officers could hear it. Quicker, louder, quicker, louder. She was running out of strength, she could lose power any moment. Abruptly, the insane man shrieked, stood up and yelled, “Villains! Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the plants! – here, here!- it is the beating of his hideous heart!”


She didn’t see that coming, he named the beating of the sacred heart “hideous”! She was sure he was an insane man.


Shortly, she prepared to leave. Though the man admitted his murder, the old man was dead. Another life was lost. Before long, death carefully called out the old man’s soul, guiding him to the afterworld. As she watched another life pass on, shame walked across her face. Slowly, she wandered off to save another sacred heart.


The Other Side of the Story (Death)

  1 comment for “Life: A Reinterpretation of a Poe Passage

  1. Ashley X
    October 30, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    I really like creative this reinterpretation is, the writing is also really well done. Good job!

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