Theme Of Obsession In The Tell Tale Heart

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In the stories the “Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Cask of the Amontillado”, and “The Fall of the House of Usher” there is an underlying theme of obsession that ultimately leads to the main characters’ downfall. Using different plots, the author Edgar Allen Poe writes three stories that all end with destruction because of the infatuation the characters demonstrate. In the “Tell-Tale Heart” the obsession of the narrator is evident from the beginning. The narrator himself tells the audience, that he cared for the old man and that the old man never wronged him. The only problem the narrator had with the old man was his eye. The eye starts to haunt the narrator and soon enough that is all he can think about and it cannot escape his thoughts. His obsession…show more content…
Unlike the “Tell-Tale Heart” however, both main characters have an obsession that lead to their doom. The character Montresor is making all his decisions in order to feed his hunger for vengeance. He lets the idea of getting revenge on Fortunato get the best of him and is willing to do anything including murder in order to fulfill this need. “At length I would be avenged…I must not only punish, but punish with impunity.” (1109) From this quote alone the audience gathers that Montresor is crazed with the idea of revenge. His obsession for this revenge turns him into a murderer and even though he is never caught, it leads to his downfall. Once the murder is over, Montresor becomes obsessed with the satisfaction he feels from the revenge. The audience can conclude this because he still goes down to his vault to relive the experience and because he retells the story again. Montresor in the end becomes very obsessive in nature. The addiction and thirst for wine brings the character Fortunato to his death. Fortunato’s dependence on wine turned out to be a fatal flaw that worked in Montresor’s favor. If Fortunato had the ability to turn down the offer of wine it would have saved his life. Even while feeling sick in the vaults, the wine is what drove him to continue to follow Montresor. After drinking, Fortunato was not capable of thinking clearly. Even when Montresor started to burry him alive Fortunato was…show more content…
After rereading the story the audience is able to pick up that there is an obsession or longing for companionship. The siblings have lived by themselves for many years and not surprisingly felt lonely in that big house. They began to rely on each other for company. Their need for companionship becomes so strong that they feel incomplete without the other by their side. This becomes a problem when Madeline “dies”. Instead of just giving up and dying Madeline tortures herself for eight days to escape in order to embrace her brother one more time. Roderick feels that he needs his sister in order to continue on living. Without her he goes insane and in the end he dies with his sister just so they can be together. Their need to be together leads to their
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