preview

Insanity in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe Essay example

Decent Essays
Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart" is a short story about how a murderer's conscience overtakes him and whether the narrator is insane or if he suffers from over acuteness of the senses. Poe suggests the narrator is insane by the narrator's claims of sanity, the narrator's actions bring out the narrative irony of the story, and the narrator is insane according to the definition of insanity as it applies to "The Tell Tale Heart". First, Poe suggests the narrator is insane by his assertions of sanity. For example, the narrator declares because he planned the murder so expertly he could not be insane. He says, "Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen how wisely I proceeded-with what…show more content…
The narrator plans the murder so well and with such logic but his reasons for murder are irrational. The narrator says he loves the old man but then vows to kill him. Speaking of the murder, the narrator says, "Object there was none. Passion there was none. I love the old man he had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire". If the narrator is not insane he would not kill a man he loves or want to kill someone with an ugly eye. The narrator's reason for the murder of the old man is unjustified and deranged. This shows the narrative irony used because someone who commits a murder with so little logic in the reasoning cannot be trusted. The narrator decides to kill the old man because the old man's eye brings terror upon the narrator whenever he sees it. The narrator's fear of the eye is irrational. Regarding the eye the narrator says, "Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees-very gradually-I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever". Also, the narrator hears things which are not actually occurring. As the narrator is looking in the old man's room at midnight he thinks the old man's heart is beating so loud that he can hear it from the doorway and it keeps growing louder and louder in his ears. He says, "But the beating grew
Get Access