Psychosis and Guilt in The Tell-Tale Heart

977 WordsJun 15, 20184 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…show more content…
Even during the time when the narrator was in the process of hiding the body, he does not find himself insane. The narrator speaks of how is was so cunning and intelligent enough to not get a spot of blood anywhere, of how he placed the boards of the floor precisely as they were before the murder. After the murder, the narrator hears a knock at the door. He proceeds to open the door to find that it is three policemen, who were there because of a disturbance call. The police tells the narrator for why they are there, which a neighbor heard a scream in the night. When the narrator hears this, he tells the police that it was his scream. Once the narrator welcomes the police to search the home, the narrator goes as far as leading police into the room where he had committed a murder and hid the body. The narrator cleverly comes up with an idea to hide the murder, “The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search-search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber” (Poe, 887). The narrator shows the police that there was nothing abnormal in the house, he proceeds to talk to them while feeling at ease. While in the room where the old man was is buried, the narrator is sitting on a chair, which is above where the old man’s body parts are. He engages in conversation with the policemen. In the narrators mind, he starts to feel guilty his anxiety rises. He believes he starts to hear the old
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