The narrator murdered the old man because of his pale blue eye. He late explains the rationale behind his actions and tries to convince the reader that he killed him because he could not stand the sight of the man’s evil eye staring at him. The theme of insanity is the most important theme in The Tell Tale Heart short story. In the beginning of the story, Poe writes, “How, then, am I mad? Hearken!
The narrator is so totally convinced that the sound is not in his head that he admits the crime, believing that the police already know of the murder. The sound is a complete product of the narrator’s insanity, further proven by the torture he experiences while he hears the sound. The beating of the heart is something only a truly insane person could believe is real. Throughout the story, it is clear that the narrator suffers from extreme mental illness. The motive for the murder, the glass eye, is so mundane
Tell-Tale Heart, written by Edgar Allan Poe, depicts the inner conflict of a murderer as he retells his story of how he came to kill the old man as a means to prove his sanity. The story is told in the point of view of an unreliable narrator, of whom is greatly disturbed by the eye of a geriatric man. The eye in question is described as evil, irritating the narrator beyond his comprehension, to the point when he has no choice but to get rid of the vexation by destroying the eye. This short story is similar to The Black Cat, of which is also penned by Poe. In The Black Cat, the narrator, albeit unreliable, describes his wrongdoings to the reader.
The works of Edgar Allan Poe are well known for being rather strange, dark, and grim. A great many of Poe’s stories and poems tend to revolve around a single idea, which is death. In one of Poe’s stories “The Tell-Tale Heart”, it starts right off the bat with introducing the narrator who seems to speak strangely. From this introduction it gives a clue on what the theme or the main idea is in the story of “The Tell-Tale Heart” which is the ramblings of a cruel schizophrenic madman. In the first sentence the narrator is trying to convince the reader that the killing of the old man out of the man’s fear of the blue eye was justified.
The beating heart could also symbolize the narrator's guilt of his murder or his fear of being found out as the culprit of the crime. However, since the beating start only after the old man is killed and the sound of the beating of the heart is heard by him alone, it could also be a symbol of the narrator's insanity. 2. The narrator doesn’t do much to disprove his insanity, except repeatedly saying “I am not mad”. Though his description of killing the old man, the reason for the murder and the reson for his confession all seem to show otherwise.
In “Overview: ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’” the author states “It immediately suggest the mental instability that the narrator will continue to deny through the remainder of the story. He insist that he carefully planned, stealthy manner in which he murdered the old man and dismembered and hid the corpse was to clever an accomplishment for an insane man” (Howes). It is clear that the narrator of the story is indeed, mad. Even though a person who has a mental issue (e.g. “mad”) may not have a strong enough conscience to feel guilt, the motive is both guilt and psychosis in “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The narrator had no humane reason to kill a loved one, the guilt when the narrator murders the old man made his anxiety grow more so when the narrator planed the murder out.
III. Conclusion A. Summarize Your Main Arguments: The narrator has concocted a tale of obsession over the eye of the old man, therefore killing the old man to raid himself off the eye becomes justify. But in an intriguing twist, his mind and acute sense of hearing conspire against him leading him to admit his deed and in so doing his insanity. Proving his sanity meant a lot to the narrator in The Tell Tale Heart, but in the end he became the victim of his own insanity (4). B.
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a short story about internal conflict and obsession, showcases the tortured soul due to a guilty conscience. The story opens with an unnamed narrator describing a man deranged and plagued with a guilty conscience for a murderous act. This man, the narrator, suffers from paranoia, and the reason for his crime is solely in his disturbed mind. He becomes fixated on the victim’s (the old man’s) eye, and his conscience forces him to demonize the eye. Finally, the reader is taken on a journey through the planning and execution of a murder at the hands of the narrator.
here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart!’ shouted the narrator (p. 5). What the narrator mistaken for the beating heart of the old man was actually sounds in his mind, the guilt of killing the old man, possibly, caused the narrator to go irrational (p. 3-5). The heart told the tale of the murder. He was positive that he successfully got away with murder.
His superego is telling him all the things that could go wrong, but his ego is telling Montresor to go through with getting revenge by murdering Fortunato. Kevin J. Hayes states in his book The Annotated Poe, that the motivation for Montresor to murder Fortunato was Poe’s own desire to get revenge on a former friend, Thomas Dunn English (Hayes 351). Montresor, like Edgar Allan Poe, felt like he has been wronged and needed to punish that person. Fortunato shows up wearing a motley, similar to a joker’s attire. Scott Peoples says in the book “Social and psychological Disorder in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe” that his belief is that Montresor is committing this murder out of an act of jealousy.