Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart

The following sample essay on Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart is about Grimly’s artistic interpretive.

A phrase that is commonly heard is a picture is worth a thousand words and that is surely no different in Gris Grimly’s adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. Grimly’s graphic adaptation conveys the macabre of Poe’s short story in a very unique way. His illustrations enhanced the mystery, anxiety, and fear in Poe’s Tell Tale Heart, amplifying the overall emotional effect on readers.

Grimly’s artistic interpretive choices, most definitely, improved the story.

In the original story, Poe uses a frame where the narrator shares the story of old man’s murder in first person. The reader does not know where the narrator is telling the story from, or if he’s been caught. Nonetheless, the narrator is rather calm while explaining exactly what happened, so the reader can assume he’s in a place where he’s comfortable.

Grimly, also, uses a frame to unravel the story to its readers. However, his frame is quite different from Poe’s. His adaptation, most definitely, developed and intensified the story.

The beginning scene of the graphic adaptation had a great impact on the story. It magnified the mystery, anxiety, and fear for its readers. The graphic adaptation opened to the narrator, telling the story of the old man’s murder, from the stand in a courtroom. This frame/image is extremely influential. The location alone altered the story line.

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A courtroom is a very hostile environment, therefore this setting raised the level of severity and added suspense to the story. The reader wants to know exactly what happened that has put the narrator his current position, how he got caught, and what’s going to happen to him. Even, the color palette of the illustration contributed to emotional effect. It included only earth tones. Colors such as sand yellow, orange, burnt red, and umber brown reinforce an unpleasant tone. There is a very dismal, murky ambiance.

Despite lacking vibrancy, the illustrations are powerful. The characters are caricatured to dramatize their disturbing personalities. They do not resemble regular humans, instead eerie characters from a scary cartoon. The narrator is depicted as a creepy, skinny, morbid man in a straightjacket. This brought clarity to the reader, in terms of corroborating that the narrator is in fact insane. The judge and jury are depicted as extraordinarily serious men. Their eyes actually do not have pupils. This artistic choice dehumanizes them. This makes the story even more mysterious. This first scene of Grimly’s graphic adaptation was very impactful.

Throughout the rest of the story, Grimly used exceptionally vivid images to convey meaning in his graphic adaptation. He used Poe’s key descriptions and theme of macabre to guide his illustrations, which are anything but simple. His exaggerated illustrations added to the ominous mood of the Tell Tale Heart. One example is that the old man is caricatured, as well. His facial features parallel those of a vultures. Grimly even included an illustration of a vulture on page three to force the reader to make the connection. He, also, incorporated many human heart illustrations throughout the graphic novel. Poe exaggerated the sound of the old man’s heart, in his original story. It’s what ultimately led the narrator to go insane. Therefore, Grimly repeating this image dramatized that. These added artistic interpretations contributed to amplifying the fear of the story.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale heart is a story full of uncanniness and unsettling emotions. It’s often regarded as a gothic classic. Although, able to stand on its own, Grimly’s adaptation clearly took this short story to a whole other level. The new frame increased the anxiety and macabre of the plot. The ominous illustrations exaggerated the eerie and disturbing tone, intensifying the reader’s fear. Grimly’s artistic interpretive changes improved the overall effect of A Tell Tale Heart on its readers.

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Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. (2019, Dec 03). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/edgar-allan-poe-s-tell-tale-heart/

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