Exploring Conceptual Metaphors in Edgar Allan Poe's ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’: A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis


  • Awaisuddin Yangzhou University
  • Amjad Saleem Department of English and Applied Linguistics, University of Peshawar
  • Honggang Wang College of International Studies, Yangzhou University, China


Conceptual metaphors shape our perception and understanding of looking at the world. The cognitive linguistic approach to a narrative provides necessary tools to explain the thinking pattern and the worldview of fictional characters. This study explores and analyzes the conceptual metaphors used by the main character in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’. Using the conceptual metaphor theory proposed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), this study explores what precisely was going on in the narrator’s mind and how all that resulted in the killing of the old man. In addition, those conceptual metaphors are then analyzed through cognitive linguistic lens.

Keywords: CMT, Cognitive Linguistics,  Source Domain,  Short Story,  Target Domain,  The Tell-Tale Heart

Author Biography

Awaisuddin, Yangzhou University

I am doing Mphil in Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Yangzhou University, China.