For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this!” as his reasoning for killing the old man (Poe 619). In spite of the claims he makes, the nervousness and obsessive thoughts of the narrator reveal to the reader that, he is indeed mentally unstable. The narrator continues to insist that he is not mad by explaining how cunningly he proceeds in his quest to kill the old man.
In the “Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator is extremely uncanny due to the reader’s inability to trust him. Right from the beggining the reader can tell that the narrator is crazy although the narrator does proclaim that he is sane. Since a person cannot trust a crazy person, the narrator himself is unreliable and therefore uncanny. Also as the story progress the narrator falls deeper and deeper into lunacy making him more and more unreliable, until the end of the story where the narrator gives in to his insanity, and the reader loses all ability to believe him. In the first lines of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the reader can tell that narrator is crazy, however the narrator claims the he is not crazy and is very much sane, because how could a crazy person come up with such a good plan.
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.
(Poe) In summary, there is much evidence to show that the narrator has gone mad in this story. Much of it has to do with the dichotomy of love and hate, reality and illusion. We see that narrator has trouble in distinguishing between what is real and that which is imagined. His mental state cannot be logically considered sound by any objective means. At several points in the story he displays his lack of connection with reality.
The narrator quickly address that he is not a mad man since, “madmen know nothing”, and he however has been extremely clever on watching the old man (Poe). Each time the narrator tries to justify his sanity, he only begins to sound like a broken record. He begins to repeat phrases over and over again, as if he is unable to control his thought process. This allows the reader to conclude that the narrator is in fact, a madman (Farida). Poe even goes as far as repeating key words such as “very”, “cautiously”, and other action words that describes how the narrator is able to perform his duty of ridding the world of the man with the “vulture eye”.
The killer wants to be perceived as wise and intelligent when in all actuality he is insane. Due to his mental instability and his contradicting actions he proves himself to be an unreliable narrator. The narrator’s reasons for killing the old man do not make sense at all thrust forth solidifying the idea of mad man. The narrator says “It is impossible to say how the idea entered my brain” (Poe 1127) even he doesn’t know where the idea to murder the man came from in the first place. He also states “I loved the old man.
This madness is not, however, sustained when guard is unnecessary. Maybe Hamlet thought too much, but he thought as a sane man would. He commits no actions without reason, and he is far too astute and organized to be proclaimed mentally unstable. Hamlet?s portrayal of a madman is also very complex because it allows not only his points to be made, but in a believably insane way, which contrasts greatly with the expected ramblings of a truly insane person. Bibliography: Shakespeare, William.
Poe's use of the point of view device is very evident in ?The Tell-Tale Heart?. The madman that speaks through the entire story talks in an unreliable first person view. Because of the man?s obvious madness you are not sure what is taking place in the introduction and what the actual events of the story were. Although there is a definite madness in the man?s attitude and he is constantly aware of it yet he makes many claims that he is not mad at all. ?You fancy me mad.
“The disease had sharpened my senses.” (Poe. 1) Some may question the if this the possibility of this, but the man narrating the “Tell Tale Heart” surely believed that his complications made more sane. People think that he is a crazed elderly man, he knows this but he certainly does not think he is. He himself couldn’t even predict the madness that was about to fall in to him life by his own hand. Afterall, he did indeed love a man that he was responsible for his demise.
Poe strips the story of a river of detail as a way to intensify the murderer’s obsession with the old man’s eye, the heartbeat, and his own claim to sanity. Allan Edgar Poe, wrote a strong story, with an unusual point of view. Following, the criminal in his long way down to madness, and his resistance towards the truth. He’s the one with a problem, not the eye. But the reader is supposed to be convince at the end of his speech that he’s not mad, but they finally, think he isn’t “just nervous” as he says, but mad.