Edgar Allan Poe’S, “The Tell Tale Heart” Was Written In

1124 WordsFeb 14, 20175 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Tell Tale Heart” was written in a time period where mental illnesses were principally misunderstood, if not completely non-acknowledged. Which mean’t that his short story drew quite a response from readers. Not only did the disturbing details throughout the story shock readers, but it also delivered new insight into the mind of an individual with a mental illness. Creating the larger sense of understanding today’s society now has on these mental illnesses. In “The Tell Tale Heart”, the narrator displays a combination of symptoms that allow us to diagnose them with a mental illness. This mental illness being schizophrenia and possibly OCD. We can assume that since there are apparent symptoms of these two illnesses…show more content…
Instead he feels it is a very noteworthy trait. The narrators driving force for committing the crime was the old man’s vulture-like eye, “whenever if fell upon me, my blood ran cold.”(par 2) His obsession with the old man’s eye was interfering with his day to day life, “it haunted me day and night”(par 2) and he could no longer rid himself of his compulsive thoughts. The narrator’s obsession with the eye had removed all sense of reality and humanity. He could find no other reason for killing the old man besides his extreme dislike for his pale blue eye, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult” (par 2).He failed to view the old man as a person, instead could only be reminded but his vexing eye. The narrator becomes extremely obsessed with the old man’s eye, so obsessed that he can no longer ignore it , so he makes his decision to kill the old man to rid himself of the eye. This strong obsession seems to be a symptom of OCD, “a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions so extreme that it gets in the way”(What Are Common Obsessions). It consumes him so entirely, he can no longer follow rules of the law. The narrator goes on to talk about how wisely he proceeded when stalking the old man, “it took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him in his bed” (par 3).The amount of caution and patience he practiced during this
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