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Schizophrenia: A Hidden Psychosis in Tell-Tale Heart

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Edgar Allan Poe, the creator of one of the most notorious short stories in gothic writing, “Tell-Tale Heart” develops a character that is struggling with schizophrenia and commits a murder. Although there is no concrete reason to why Poe wrote the short story, it is theorized that he wrote it due to the struggles he had in his life, he wanted to reflect the evil inside a human spirit. It is also theorized by Matthey Bynum “The average man tended to suspect deception in defense pleas of insanity, and newspapers often fanned these feelings. Thus by the time Poe wrote 'The Tell-Tale Heart', such trials were major events.” Because of the characters thoughts and actions, many scholars, like Tanfer Tunc, Susan Amper, Matthey Bynum (among others), have analyzed the character and his possible mental illness and case of schizophrenia.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” written in 1843 is a story that is narrated by a crazed man. Initially the character is driven absolutely mad by the presence of the “vulture eye” of an old man that he serves. Strategically planned he decides to kill the man when he realizes he can no longer handle seeing his eye daily. Patiently for 8 nights he watches the old man sleep until he can muster up the courage of actually murdering him. Coincidentally the old man wakes up when the narrator ends up killing him with little struggle. After doing so, he precedes to takes him apart limb by limb, and hides it under the floor of the old man’s chamber. When the police shows up, he casually invites them in, and driven mad by the sound of the dead man’s heartbeat; he confesses his terrible deed to the officers.
Poe starts to develop the character (who is also the narrator) and he immediately allows the narrator to question his sani...

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...Poe created the character with many mental issues that are most (if not all) symptoms of schizophrenia.

Works cited

Amper, Susan. ""The Tell-Tale Heart"." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 3 Mar. 2014
Poe, Edgar A. "The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe." The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.
Matthey Bynum, Paige. ""Observe how healthily—how calmly I can tell you the whole story": Moral Insanity and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 12 Apr. 2014
Tunc, Tanfer Emin. "cruelty in "The Tell-Tale Heart"." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 12 Apr. 2014
Tunc, Tanfer Emin. "illness in "The Tell-Tale Heart"." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 3 Mar. 2014
Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. "Poe, Edgar Allan." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 12 Apr. 2014
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