Some people believe that most murderers have a mental illness which causes them to commit their crime. This belief is strongly disagreed with by the authors Edgar Allan Poe and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Crime and Punishment, "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Black Cat",and "The Cask of Amontillado" are very similar in this contradiction. Each murderer takes a specific journey that has been illustrated in each case. The psychological make-up of each murderer shows that he is a normal person up to the point at which something compels him to commit this horrible crime, and after that his conscience usually leads to his own downfall.
Before the murder has been committed the character is a regular human being. In most cases the characters that end up carrying through with this crime are above average people. Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment is '... quite an extraordinarily handsome young man...' (Crime and Punishment, pg.21) Raskolnikov is a very gifted university student, with a very good talent for figuring people out. Raskolinikov takes great pride and care for his family. On receiving a letter from his mother
...he quickly raised the letter to his lips and kissed it; then he spent a long time poring over the handwriting on the envelope, over the small, slanting handwriting, so familiar and dear to him, of his mother who had once taught him to read and write. (Crime and Punishment, pg.47)
Raskolnikov's mother, who taught him how to read and write did this job quite well. This resulted in a very gifted and brilliant university student. This point is illustrated throughout the novel from the planning and carrying out of the murder, to interactions with the police.
The narrator from the short story 'The Black Cat' describes his 'tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of his companions.' ('The Black Cat', pg.390) He is quite a regular human being who is '...especially fond of animals...' ('The Black Cat', pg.390) The narrator also has a great wife whom he describes as being quite similar to himself, which shows that he must be quite normal if a good woman chooses to marry him. Much alike is the narrator from the short story 'The Tell-Tale Heart'. Again this character is full of love. The victim of his crime had done no wrong and for that the narrator '...loved the old man.' ('The Tell-Tale Heart', pg.384) The narrator shows the same brilliance in planning the crime that Raskolnikov exhibits. People with great intelligence, great lives, possessions and friends must be normal people. This seems to hold true in the short story 'The Cask of Amontillado'. The narrator is a man with great wealth. He has many friends which would signify that he is quite a normal character. He lives in a nice house with servants and fine wine. This all seems to show that his mind is intact, if he obtains and keeps these symbols of success. It seems as if each and every character discussed...