Tell-Tale Heart : Is the narrator insane?

Essay add: 12-01-2016, 15:09   /   Views: 1 736
Tell-tale Heart

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19th 1809 in Boston Massachusetts. His parents David Poe Jr., and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins, both died when Edgar was very young. John and Frances Allan then took Edgar into their home although they never legally adopted him. Calvin F.S. THOMAS published Poe’s 1st book, Tamerlane and other Poems in Boston in 1827, though it only sold about 50 copies. His 1st real job was the editor of Thomas W. White’s Southern Literary Messenger where he worked for nearly a year. In 1836, he was married to his 13-year-old cousin. He wrote many short stories including the Tell-Tale Heart in 1843, which is about a murderer who is subconsciously haunted into confessing what he just did. He died on October 7th 1849 in Baltimore. The narrator is insane because of his unnatural preoccupation with the eye, his distorted logic, and the hearing of voices and sounds, which reveal the madness.

For some strange reason, the narrator was obsessed with the old man’s eye. He wasn’t even certain on how it started, but to him, it was an eye of a vulture. The old man was going to be murdered because of his pale blue eye. Infact, for seven straight nights at midnight the eye was closed. It wasn’t until finally on the eighth night when the narrator’s thumb slipped on the tin fastening which woke up the old man. He grew furious when he did see the eye and new inside that he must murder this old man because of his eye. It is hard to imagine why a person’s eye would bother another person enough to kill, but some people are truly mad. He could’ve atleast found another job to move on away from the evil eye.

His logic was distorted, so to him, the murder of the old man was the only thing that could soothe his pain. The thought of someone’s eye bothering so much is insane enough. He then made the decision to only kill him when he saw his eye. This took him eight days, though I’m sure he would’ve done it the first night if he had the chance. While he killed the old man, he had a smile on his face. Murder should’ve given him an evil scary look, yet he was happy and felt proud. He would tell himself he was not mad, and he probably would try and convince anyone he wasn’t. The murder of the old man was justified. I think the narrator needed to murder something for a reason. The reason for killing the old man was absolutely absurd, but it worked for him.

He also heard voices that would haunt him day and night. Those voices told him the eye was evil, and that he was doing the right thing. He would also hear a groan of terror many nights at midnight. These groans of terror could have been a foreshadowing of how he was going to make the old man feel on that eighth night. The narrator could apparently hear the old man’s heart, even after he had been murdered. It is impossible to hear a person’s heartbeat with the naked ear. He also thought the police officers were laughing at his horror of the heartbeat. The voices caused him to murder, and then caused him to give into the police when he easily could have gotten away with it.

The narrator was obviously insane because of his unnatural preoccupation with the eye, his distorted logic, and the hearing of voices and sounds, which revealed the madness. He must have had this twisted sickness for a long time, because a person cannot become this insane over night. I think this was a built up madness that had to come out at some point. It was unfortunate this old man had to die this way, but atleast the narrators murdering days are over.

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