The Tell Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

951 WordsJun 18, 20164 Pages
Power, Insanity and Guilt in The Tell-Tale Heart Even if one feels they may have 'gotten away ' with a crime, the weight of a person’s conscience cannot be concealed. In someone’s life, too much power and control combined with a person’s conscience in a person’s life can and will lead to an imbalance and perhaps insanity as in the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Edgar Allan Poe demonstrates how the narrator in this story goes through the greed and need for control, leading to his insanity that results in extreme guilt. The narrator 's desire for complete control, particularly of the old man and his evil eye which bothers him so much it leads him to commit his evil deed. He says that he did not have a motive for killing the old man…show more content…
Poe provides many context clues through out "The Tell-Tale Heart" to suggest, that despite the narrator 's assertions of sanity, that he is in fact insane. At the very beginning of the tale, the narrator insists, “True! —nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” (Poe 1). The narrator 's voice feels as if he is trying too hard to convince the reader of his mental stability, especially as he describes how careful he was to be nice to the old man the week before he carried out his plot to murder him. “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture – a pale blue eye with a film over it” (Poe 1). A sane person would not be so scared of someone ones flaw so much that it drives them to take their life. The narrator can kill this man because he is insane and as he proudly describes what care he took to proceed with his murderous plot, the narrator come across as extremely unreliable, filling the reader with doubts of not only his veracity but also his mental stability. As the story unfolds, the narrator 's actions further suggest his insanity. For example: sitting down on the mattress after he smothers the old man, hiding the body inside the house and his imagination of the still beating heart. Poe 's cleverly constructed story clearly reveals the mind of a completely
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