The Oval Portrait is a story given by a man who is a painter and seems to be infatuated with a wife. The story ends with his wife dying due to the supernaturalism in his paintings. This story affects most readers since it depicts death as a supernatural process. The Tell-Tale Heart is a story about an old man who is murdered by his servant who had been extremely agitated by his master’s actions. It is a story told from a murderer’s perspective.
Poe’s depiction of criminals in the two stories:
Poe’s writing can be categorized as exemplary because of the way he depicts the world as terrifying and has intriguing connections to his chaotic and tragic life. In The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe creates an environment that seems to be filled with horror and fear. He examines the rate of criminal mentality when he uses different technical features to depict terror, one that is not even apparent. The narrator explains that he murdered the old man with “foresight” and “caution”, “a clear depiction of madness” (Martin 33). Poe applies the criminal point of view through his representation of perspectives that are different, thereby allowing his readers to explore the criminal’s dark side and psyche.
In the Oval Portrait, the painter kills his wife but not because of any effect from his emotions, but because of his passion for art. This is simply a criminal act that the narrator wants to disguise with passion, thereby providing a clear image of how deranged the painter’s criminal intentions can exceed. Poe is not sympathetic with the people that he describes in his stories and explains their actions further to his readers by using adverbs such as “slowly” and “stealthily”. He applies these when describing the deranged narrator in the story of The Tell-Tale Heart where the servant is depicted saying: “I moved slowly- very stealthily- not disturb” (Martin 32). These are some of the differences and similarities that can be depicted in criminals in two stories.
Martin, Terry J. “Detection, Imagination, and the Introduction to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”” Modern Language Studies 19.4 (1989):31-35. Print.