He Is Mad Essay

1177 words - 5 pages

"Villains!" I shrieked, "Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- tear up the planks! Here, here! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart!" (p.116). This is how Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" catastrophically ends. Here, the erratic Narrator Poe deforms the story in such a way that we, as the readers, are brought into an extreme reality of a mentally imbalance, paranoid assassin's imaginative world of delusion. As we read the story, we will definitely find some parts where the narrator's fellness into insanity is clearly indicated; sorted from his appalling nervousness, his denial about his madness, his irrational reason to kill the old man, his response to the over-acuteness of his hearing sense, and his conviction about the fact that he is utterly normal. The central character in this particular piece of story is pretty complex and in this case, I will use my own personal experience and psychological knowledge as the evidence to support my views.Just as from the beginning of the story, the narrator has strongly revealed the potential of him being a mad man. His confession of being "very, very dreadfully nervous" (p.112) must have been a sign that he knows that there is something wrong about him. This fact is even reemphasized by the over- sharpness of his hearing sense which he pointed out as a "disease". "I heard all things in the heaven and the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?" (p.112). I believe that the " heaven, earth, and hell" in this meticulous quote are the forms of symbolisms that present the narrator's illusion of his own world that other people cannot even experience or understand, and that is the reason why he is able to consider his occurrence of hearing sounds that other people can't is normal. But then, at the end of the story, we can see how the narrator's difficulty to distinguish between the real world and his fantasy has frustrated him and made him "foamed, raved and, swore"(p.115). This happens due to his great trepidation and guilty feeling. The pleasures, satisfaction, and feeling of triumph that he achieved by killing the old man has turned into something even more terrible for his mental illness which then dragged him into further depression. The narrator himself stated that he was irritated by the noises that gradually amplified, the moan of terror that is so familiar to him. He tries to conceal himself by talking more aggressively to the police officers and fails to do it at the same time until at one point he cannot handle the pressure which was put onto him. The crazy killer scares himself off. He is suspicious about everything, is anxious about everything, and is afraid about everything. "Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! -- no, no! They heard -- they suspected! -- they knew! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! ...But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that...

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