A Christmas Carol And The Tell Tale Heart

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Jeremy Burrafato 12-11-13 ENG 4800-01 Final Essay Psychoanalytical Criticism on Stories of Madmen The descent into madness has been a facet of many stories throughout human history. Voices in one’s head, delusions, as well as dreams and nightmares, are common in these types of stories. In Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, and Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, the characters within the stories face these sorts of problems. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator/protagonist experiences an obsession with a physical trait of an elderly man, in which he associates with evil. This evil eye and the obsession in which the narrator holds for it eventually cause the narrator to do the unthinkable. Kill the old man. A Christmas Carol tells the tale of an older gentleman who experiences a series of encounters with ghosts who show him the error of his ways. These dream like scenarios in which he encounters these spirits are none other than actual dreams and wish-fulfillment based on his fears and guilt. Both of these classic tales weave notions of psychological intricacies within their pages. The Tell-Tale Heart details the descent into madness of a man who is suffering from some form of paranoid schizophrenia; while A Christmas Carol reveals that its main character while not having a traumatic form of mental illness like that of Poe’s story, does share many anxieties and delusions based on guilt and obsession much like the narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart. Both characters have and cope with varying degrees of mental illness, or at least symptoms of such illnesses in some form or another. For the purpose of this essay, the version of the story that will be referenced is the one handed out to us in our class, thus any references to the st... ... middle of paper ... ...in the forms of countless movies, including the likes of Disney, as well as being a record breaking theatrical play. Charles Dickens work has been a staple of writing for years, and this piece is no exception. The story of A Christmas Carol begins with a misery old man named Scrooge working in his counting house on Christmas Eve, his clerk sitting in the front working as well. Various people come inside to greet him including his nephew whom he basically tells to leave after being invited to a Christmas party. He is then visited by people who are looking for donations for the poor. This sets up Scrooges hate for the holiday as well as his greed. His greed is the primary basis for his loneliness and anger, which is amplified during the holiday season. To understand Scrooges hate for the holiday season, one could look back to a time when he would have enjoyed it.
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