Body parts are obviously part of the gory, gothic nature of Poe’s world, but eyes are especially noticeable as the medallion of many of the haunting figures in the stories. Ligeia
is at first known to us by her large, strangely powerful eyes and it is these ‘orbs’ that come back to haunt us at the end. In The Black Cat
, it is the cat
’s gouged eye that begins the spiral of crime that eventually condemns the narrator. And in The Tell-Tale Heart
, without any further explanation of the narrator’s moral opposition to the old man
, it is his evil, vulture-like eye that provokes the whole grisly tale. Eyes appear often as part of the other-worldly realm of Poe’s stories and suggest a window to the soul gone-wrong.