Insane or Sane

1414 Words May 27th, 2014 6 Pages
Is He Truly Insane?

“The man denies that he is insane. He offers proof. Can you believe him?”
(Poe, 22) This is one of the most intriguing lines in the short story ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ written by Edgar Allan Poe. This quote defines the whole purpose of the short story in fewer than two sentences. The whole story is dedicated to proving that the narrator in the short story is actually, sane. Due to many pieces of evidence, one can have various opinions in debating whether the narrator is insane or sane. For instance, the narrator in the story watched the old man sleep for countless days, cut up the corps of the old man and placed in under the boards, and claimed he heard the heartbeat of the old man once he was dead. Therefore it
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The narrator acted calmly. “I took my visitors all over the house. I blade them search – search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber.” (Poe, 25) This quote from the story tells us that the narrator showed courage, giving the impression that he had ‘nothing’ to hide (which he did). After the police officers started to believe the narrator, the narrator started to hear a sound. It was the heartbeat of the old man. He then spoke louder, so loud so that the police officers wouldn’t be able to hear the “sound.” “The ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct- it continued and became more distinct; I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling; but it continued and gained definiteness- until, at length, I found that the noise was not within his ears.” (Poe, 26) This lets readers know that the sound of the old man’s heartbeat, the same heartbeat that he heard before he killed him, was getting louder and louder. “Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! –no, no! They heard! - They suspected! - They knew! - They were making a mockery of my horror! - this I thought, and this I think.” (Poe, 26) This means that the narrator thought that the police officers were able to hear the heartbeat and were just mocking him, so that he would turn himself in. After a while the
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