The Dilapidation of The Human Psyche in The Horrific.

2025 Words9 Pages
In horror literature, the degradation of a protagonist’s sense of reality is commonplace. In Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Lovecraft’s “The Temple”, and King’s “Survivour Type”, each protagonist’s rational psyche deteriorates due to their surroundings, behaviours, and emotions. The surroundings in which the narrators find themselves is the first domino of a complex web that is inadvertently knocked over, creating toppling effect within their minds that can rarely be reversed. A person’s behaviour, their actions, and/or their disposition would unequivocally affect their psyche. 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. This would be considered under the domino of surroundings, the narrator has kept this old man within his/her vicinity, allowing for their mind to become twisted with delusions that the old man’s eye was the cause of their episode. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever. (Poe... ... middle of paper ... ...ers his past. In conclusion, “The Tell-Tale Heart” By Edgar Allen Poe, “The Temple” By H.P. Lovecraft, and “Survivour Type” By Stephen King all beautifully incorporate the motif of the narrator or protagonist losing their grip of reality over the expanse of the story. The narrator or protagonist’s surroundings, behaviours, and emotions cause this loss of reality. This commonplace degeneration of the mind has been a hit within the horror genre for generations of writers, and will continue to be for many more. The effects experienced by the narrator or protagonist are irreversible, and will continue to disturb them, killing them ever so slowly. There is no escape. But in the minds of those who suffer such psychoses, do they suffer internally as we see it externally? That is the question. “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” – Edgar Allen Poe.
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