Psychosis And Guilt In The Tell Tale Heart

1373 words - 5 pages

In Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator explains how he is not mad, how cautious he is in planning a murder. A person can argue however with the narrator of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, which he is indeed mad. The anxiety the narrator experiences through out the story makes him mad, it is also the guilt that brought on more anxiety to the narrator at the end of the story. The narrator constantly speaks of how he is not mad; he constantly as the reader why would they think he is mad. “True! –nervous-very, very, dreadfully nervous. I had been and still am; but why will you say that I am mad?” (Poe 884). The narrator does not believe that he is a mad man, much less have any mental issues. In “Overview: ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’” the author states “It immediately suggest the mental instability that the narrator will continue to deny through the remainder of the story. He insist that he carefully planned, stealthy manner in which he murdered the old man and dismembered and hid the corpse was to clever an accomplishment for an insane man” (Howes). It is clear that the narrator of the story is indeed, mad. Even though a person who has a mental issue (e.g. “mad”) may not have a strong enough conscience to feel guilt, the motive is both guilt and psychosis in “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The narrator had no humane reason to kill a loved one, the guilt when the narrator murders the old man made his anxiety grow more so when the narrator planed the murder out.
In the “Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator believes that a disease has made his senses better, and that his heightened senses helped him plan out the murder of the old man he loves, “The disease had sharpened my senses-not destroyed-not dulled them” (Poe 884). The narrator states that out of all the senses, his hearing is the best. He briefly describes how there was no cause for how the idea of murder came to his mind, and there was not true reason he wants kill the old man. “Ostensibly, the protagonist has no real reason for wanting to kill the old man. Indeed, he claims the old man never done him wrong and that he loved the old man and does not want his money. Why, then, is there a need for murder?” (Chua). John Chua, writer of “An overview of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’” states that there is no real reason for murder, and even the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” is unsure of the reason. The narrator realizes that it was the old man’s eye that made him think of murder, “I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture-a pale blue eye, with film over it” (Poe 885). The narrator thinks that he is not mad because of how he came up with a plan to kill the old man and at the same time plotting murder was still very kind to the old man.
It is clear to the reader of “The Tell-Tale Heart” that the reader is indeed mad. The narrator knows he is not mad, though he had no reason for murder. The narrator is nervous, from the beginning to the end. The eye of the old man is the only reason...

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