A Message From a Murderous Mind

771 Words2 Pages

For the average person, it is impossible to fathom the internal conflicts which a madman suffers on a daily basis. An insane person reacts irrationally and severe actions are often taken to deal with basic conflicts. These actions are often unpredictable. Although madness may not be understood by a completely sane person, someone who alternates from madness to sanity knows both worlds. A man who seems to have this capability is Edgar Allan Poe. Writer Edgar Allan Poe brilliantly demonstrates the theme of insanity by interpreting many different aspects of mental illness in the narrator of “A Tell-Tale Heart.” In “A Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator displays symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Anosognosia, indicating that although he believes himself to be a sane man, he is actually severely ill.
First, the narrator exhibits symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).When affected by OCD a person suffers from anxiety because of a particular obsession. The person affected with OCD then has the compulsion to get rid of this obsession to relieve this anxiety (Psychological Disorders). The narrator seems to show symptoms of OCD from the start of the story. Gale critical essays agree that “for an unknown reason, the old man’s cloudy, pale blue eye has incited madness in the narrator” (Wilson 344).The unexplainable discomfort caused by the old man’s eye fits the obsessive requirement of OCD. Although the narrator loves the old man, “whenever [the eye falls] upon [the narrator, his] blood [runs] cold, and … [he makes] up [his] mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid [himself] of the eye forever” (Poe 69). The obsession with the vulture looking eye drives the narrator to eventually kill the old man in...

... middle of paper ...

...Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. .
May, Charles E.. Masterplots II / Short story series. Rev. ed. Pasadena, Calif. [u.a.: Salem Press, 2004. Print.
Mazzeno, Laurence W.. Masterplots. 4th ed. Pasadena, Calif.: Salem Press, 2011. Print.
"NAMI - The National Alliance on Mental Illness." NAMI. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. .
"Psychological Disorders." Psychological Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. .
Wilson, Kathleen, and Marie Lazzari. Short stories for students presenting analysis, context, and criticism on commonly studied short stories. Volume 4 ed. Detroit: Gale Group, 1998. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how edgar allan poe demonstrates the theme of insanity by interpreting many different aspects of mental illness in the narrator of "a tell-tale heart."
  • Analyzes how the narrator exhibits symptoms of ocd, which is a compulsive way of dealing with the obsession that causes his anxiety.
Show More
Open Document