Through his writing, Poe directly attributes the narrator’s guilt to his inability to admit his illness and offers his obsession with imaginary events - The eye’s ability to see inside his soul and the sound of a beating heart- as plausible causes for the madness that plagues him. After reading the story, the audience is left wondering whether the guilt created the madness, or vice versa. The story opens with the narrator explaining his sanity after murdering his companion. By immediately presenting the reader with the textbook definition of an unreliable narrator, Poe attempts to distort his audience’s perceptions from the beginning. This point is further emphasized by his focus on the perceived nexus of madness; the eye.
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.
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.
At the start, it is clear that the eye disturbs the narrator: “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 413). The frightening effect that the eye has on the narrator affects him so much so that he decides to murder the old man in order to get rid of it. This shows his belief that the eye has supernatural powers and demonstrates to what extent he wants to free himself of the eye’s imposing control. Moreover, when the narrator begins stalking the old man in his sleep, he has made a complete distinction between the eye and the old man: “[…] I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person: for I had directed
In the narrator’s mind he sees the eye as being separate from the old man whom he loves; although in order to rid himself of the eye, the old man must die. The eye of the old man seems to have triggered the narrator’s madness. Poe uses the symbol of an eye once again in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” to signify another one of his character's insanities. When the narrator gets to the house of Usher he describes it as a “Mansion of gloom” with “Vacant eye-like windows”(1). The gloom and disrepair of the outside is a clear ... ... middle of paper ... ...es the repetition of mental illness throughout many of his stories, leaving readers with more questions than answers.
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.
The narrator confesses the sole reason for killing the old man is his eye: "Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees - very gradually - I made up my mind to rid myself of the eye for ever" (34). The narrator begins his tale of betrayal by trying to convince the reader he is not insane, but the reader quickly surmises the narrator indeed is out of control. The fact that the old man's eye is the only motivation to murder proves the narrator is so mentally unstable that he must search for justification to kill. In his mind, he rationalizes murder with his own unreasonable fear of the eye. The narrator wrestles with conflicting feelings of responsibility to the old man and feelings of ridding his life of the man's "Evil Eye" (34).
Next, he tells us that he “cannot say how first the idea entered my brain.” However this happened, he has clearly become consumed by it. He confirms this when he says how it “haunted” him “day and night.” I suggest that this preoccupation is a mental defect since it obstructs normal cognitive harmony. What is in my mind the some of the strongest evidence for his madness is when he admits to loving the old man who “had never wronged” him, yet he becomes obsessed with eliminating one of the man’s eyes. It seems to me that the old man has a cataract or some other condition of the eye making it a pale blue color. Our narrator is so distressed by the gaze of this one eye that his “blood ran cold” whenever it fell upon... ... middle of paper ... ...e as villains when he confesses.
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, a... ... middle of paper ... ...story, the narrator continues to repeat himself over and over, along with question why the reader should have any uncertainty about his psychological state. Additionally, the narrator continues to defend his sanity by telling the reader that he cannot be considered crazy because he was mindful and took caution in his actions: “You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution -- with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work!” (1).
Edgar Allan Poe has faced many difficulties in life and has faced many devastating events. This allowed him to create a dark mind for himself and his stories that he has written. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story about a man who is aggravated by the eye of the old man he lives with and it drives him so mad that he stalks and kills the old man. Although, this does not bring relief upon him due to the man still hearing the heart of the old man and it drives him insane to the point that he reveals what he has done to the police when no one has suspected a thing. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe it uses the tension of foreshadowing to create the narrator’s madness.