The Gothic Protagonist

Following the reading of The Tell-Tale Heart, we will now explore how the narrator of that story meets the criteria for the gothic protagonist. Below are a set of descriptors that we discussed and debated in class.



The Gothic Protagonist

1. Has distinct contrasting qualities to their character.

2. Usually of a high social rank or holds a position of power.

3. Often surrounded by devices the foreshadow something negative.

4. Driven by strong emotions rather than logic or reason.

5. Generally secretive or surrounded by an air of mystery.

6. Has a “need to know” or curious nature.


Using the descriptors above, we split into groups and brainstormed our ideas about how the narrator of The Tell-Tale Heart fit this description. The still below is a snapshot of the board where we wrote up our findings.





The student’s goal now is to pick three of these things and analyze how they apply to the narrator in further depth. They should use quotes from The Tell-Tale Heart to support their ideas. You can find their responses on their personal blog spaces.



Posted by Renee Plunkett

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

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