Insanity In The Tell Tale Heart

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Thematic Essay Edgar Allan Poe uses the insanity of his narrator to create an unsettled feeling in the reader. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator has the readers on their toes. Humans have a tendency to not see the truth about their conditions, even when they are talking in detail about them. This is seen in "The Tell-Tale Heart" when the narrator starts by telling the reader "[t]he disease had sharpened [his] senses . . . not dulled them,"(1). The use of fear, the concept of sanity, and the dedication to detail the narrator, all provide insight about a world that some people might wish to do without. The "The Tell-Tale Heart" is nerve-wracking. The narrator is planning the death of an old man who possesses "the eye of a vulture—a…show more content…
He continuously tells the reader that he is, in fact, sane and has never been more so. The narrators in Poe 's stories are typically not without a flaw that gives the reader a reason to feel pity toward them; they usually have some trait which propels them into being hopeless in situations. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," the protagonist has the flaw of insanity, which leads to his downfall. He admits to the murder after he becomes convinced he hears the dead old man 's heart beating. While the narrator claims he is completely sane, it is due on some level to his awareness he is not. While in denial, he shares his feelings about his condition with others and gives himself away. The narrator does this so often it may cause a reader to wonder if he is doing it on purpose or if he is just that insane. The main character 's biggest conflict is with himself. He practically begs the reader to be blind to his actions and only to hear his words which say his mind is in one piece. Had he thought it through or been saner, he would have seen his words and his actions told two completely different stories. For all the narrator 's claims that his condition was helping him rather than hindering him, he failed to see and take action to prevent this from…show more content…
His attention to detail helps him when he is hiding the body, but when the police come, he falls apart. Claiming that he is sane at every corner the reader turns, the narrator finds out fear is an overwhelming force which causes him to give himself away. The presence of fear, attention to detail, and state of sanity that combine to create the theme of "The Tell-Tale Heart" are seen in the narrator and shown to the reader in a way that, even though the narrator is insane, the reader understands him when he expresses his fear of the old man 's eye. The reader also feels the anxiety of being caught when the police come. With the theme the human condition allows them to see only what they want to see and nothing more, Edgar Allan Poe is able to use the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" as a shocking
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