Edgar Allen Poe and Charlotte Perkins Are Unreliable Narrators: A Discussion

1013 Words4 Pages
Poe and Perkins' Unreliable Narrators Edgar Allan Poe and Charlotte Perkins were two prominent American writers that explored the psychological constructs of the characters contained within their short stories. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," by Poe, the unnamed narrator maintains that he is not mad despite the fact that he has murdered someone in the process of trying to destroy an Evil eye. On the other hand, in "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Perkins, the unnamed narrator recognizes that her nerves have contributed to her descent into madness. It can be argued that both unnamed narrators are equally unreliable because of their behavior and because they reject the notion that they are crazy. At the beginning of "The Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator emphatically denies that he is mentally unstable and cries, "True! nervous very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?...Hearken! and observe how healthily how calmly I can tell you the whole story" (Poe 37). As the narrator begins to tell the tale of how he prepared to murder his neighbor in order to rid himself of his narrator's "evil eye," it is evident that the narrator is mentally unstable and may be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia or some other ailment. The narrator's false belief that he is mentally sound leads to his argumentative nature. Regardless of the fact that the narrator is himself convinced that he is mentally stable, he finds it necessary to try and convince everyone

More about Edgar Allen Poe and Charlotte Perkins Are Unreliable Narrators: A Discussion

Open Document