The Heart Tells a Tale

726 Words3 Pages
How can one prove that he is mentally stable? In Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Tell Tale Heart”, the narrator in the story explains how he was calm and sane the days before he rid himself of the vulture eye. “The Tell Tale Heart” is a story of an unnamed man who planned to kill the old man with the vulture eye. Night after night, the narrator would carefully make his way into the old man’s room to ensure he did not wake him, and look at the man’s vulture eye. On the eighth night, the narrator was successful in killing the man and left no evidence of the murder. The narrator now feels happy that he no longer has to endure the vulture eye. However, in the story, it is portrayed the dead man’s heart continued to beat, which began to incapacitate the narrator’s mental state. “The Tell Tale Heart” illustrates how the narrator’s nervousness drove him insane. The narrator had mixed emotions towards the old man. The narrator stated that he loved the old man and did not want his money (Poe, 1). He began to say that he had never been mean to the man up to the man’s death. Why would he want to kill his love one and receive no type of compensation for his death? He said, “I made up his mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever” (p. 1). As the narrator continued to prove the case that he was sane, he began to explain the nights leading up to him accomplishing his goal of getting rid of the vulture eye. Readers can interpret that the old man has a disease in order to have a discoloration in only one eye. Now, the time was coming for the narrator to strike his victim. We soon learn that the narrator heartlessly kill the old man. The narrator had already planned the murder of the old man. Before the murd... ... middle of paper ... ...ed! – tear up the planks! 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. The narrator no longer had to endure the agony of the vulture eye, but there was a new problem. The mystery of the old man’s beating heart gave the narrator the ideal that the police officers, also, knew of the horrific slaying. As the heartbeats grew louder, the narrator could no longer bare the sound of the heat. Yet, the sound the narrator heard was not real. It was all in his head. The narrator’s judgments to demonstrate he was sane proved that his was mentally unstable.
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