In “The Tell Tale Heart” Edgar Allan Poe builds up suspense by guiding us through the darkness that dwells inside his character’s heart and mind. Poe masterfully demonstrates the theme of guilt and its relationship to the narrator’s madness. In this classic gothic tale, guilt is not simply present in the insistently beating heart. It insinuates itself earlier in the story through the old man’s eye and slowly takes over the theme without remorse. Through his writing, Poe directly attributes the narrator’s guilt to his inability to admit his illness and offers his obsession with imaginary events - The eye’s ability to see inside his soul and the sound of a beating heart- as plausible causes for the madness that plagues him.
He asks, “Why will you say that I am mad?”… “Observe how healthily-how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe par.1). Fundamentally, the confused state of the narrators mind could be Poe’s strategy to keep the reader induced by the narrator’s confession. The twisted plot brings complexity to such a short story making The Tell-Tale Heart to be both mysterious and psychologically intriguing. The fact that he had not motive to kill the old man furthers confirms of his insanity. In the process of defending his sanity plea, the narrator has to confess about committing the crime.
He is known for his wonderfully twisted tales involving such characters as an unstable brother with a mysterious ailment (The Fall of the House of Usher,) a methodical murderer (The Tell-Tale Heart,) and an enraged, revenge seeking, homicidal maniac (The Cask of Amontillado.) Through analysis and citations of the tales listed above, in conjunction with the opinions of literary critics, the reader will clearly see the oft repeated theme of madness and insanity hard at work. Madness seems to inject itself into Poe’s tale, The Fall of the House of Usher, from the very beginning. The narrator of this tale begins by using extremely detailed comparisons and descriptions of the home of Roderick Usher, to relay the “insufferable gloom” and “utter depression of soul” (654) he feels when he first sees the place. He describes the outside, with its “vacant eye-like windows,” and “white trunks of decaying trees” (654).
I believe that Edgar Allan Poe personifies the mental concept of the imagination because it seems that throughout the story, the main culprit to the cause of madness is the torment of the person by his own imagination. The unnamed narrator is persistently reminding the reader that things are far worse than he can actually explain, therefore causing the reader to use his own imagination to conjure up something far worse. In The Fall of the House of Usher, the relationship between the House and Roderick Usher is relative because the interior of the house symbolizes his slow, dilapidating mind. We can clearly see evidence of this by the narrator’s use of words describing the lurid atmosphere of the house. The worn and tattered furniture can describe the wearing down of Usher’s mind due to stress.
It is a study of paranoia and mental deterioration. First of all, he combines the narrator and the protagonist. Poe writes this story from the perspective of the murderer of the old man. When an author creates a situation where the protagonist tells a personal account, the general shock of the story is sharp. The narrator, in this particular story, adds to the effect of horror by continually stressing to the reader that he is not mad, and tries to convince us of that fact by how carefully this brutal crime was planned and executed..
The narrator’s perceptions and thoughts are affected by behaviours in such a way that slowly drags them into an inescapable psychosis. Volatile emotions have a severe affect on their fragile sanity. Emotional responses range from euphoria to melancholy and undoubtedly lead to a collapse of their known reality. Edgar Allen Poe’s publication of “The Tell-Tale Heart” is one of many exemplary horror pieces that incorporate the theme of the Narrator losing their perception of reality, effectively becoming psychotic. In this piece, the narrator resides with an older gentleman who is the root cause of the narrator’s psychopathic outburst.
I felt that I must scream or die". The narrator is deluded in thinking the officers knew of his crime because his insanity makes him paranoid. In conclusion, Poe shows the insanity of the narrator through the claims of the narrator as to why he is not insane, the actions of the narrator bring out the narrative irony of the story, and the character of the narrator fits the definition of insanity as it applies to "The Tell Tale Heart". The "Tell Tale Heart" is a story about how insanity can overtake someone's mind and cause one to behave irrationally.
He has a type of creativity, which lets the reader see into the mind of the narrator or main character of the story. In the case of The Tell-Tale Heart the narrator and main character are one and the same. Many of the characters in Poe's stories seem to be insane. The narrator often seems to have some type of psychological problems. In The Tell-Tale Heart the story opens with the narrator saying... ... middle of paper ... ... it he said; "He has created a universe, given it psychological laws without denying the existence of the moral law, and peopled it with characters appropriate to such a universe.
Obsession is the state of being obsessed with someone or something. Mad is you’re mentally ill and insane. In my opinion, obsession and mad are completely to different situations. Obsession doesn’t necessarily equal madness, because it depends on the situation. Edgar Allan Poe is known for his short stories and are told by narrators who are reliable but, “The Tell-Tale Heart” the unnamed narrator is insane and has a mental disease and there are many reasons why he is insane with evidence to prove it.
In “A Tell-Tale Heart” and “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” the presence of an ingrained hamartia within a primary character elicits a consuming sense of fear and defeat in the reader by immersing him in the mind of the character. Edgar Allen Poe is contemporarily known for his Gothic works, but more specifically for implementing palpable fabrics of horror and the omnipresent element of death in his writing. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story told from the eyes of the narrator that delivers an array of erratic emotion to the reader, ranging from excitement and anxiety to sheer horror. The story is the narrator’s attempted explanation to the reader that he is not insane – a captivating author technique that creates a sense of unease in the reader after the very first sentence. The narrator then goes on to intricately describe his murder of an old man in the heart of the night.