In Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the narrator should not be guilty by reason of insanity. “Insanity Defense” states that a man is innocent by means of insanity if he has committed the crime because he is “unable to control his impulses” as a result of mental disease (“Insanity Defense” 1). Similarly, the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” viewed the old man’s “pale blue eye, with a film over it” with hatred (Poe 1). When the old man’s eye looked upon the narrator, he would uncontrollably increase in fury and anger. This led the narrator to “[make] up [his] mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid [him]self of the eye forever” (Poe 1).
Insanity means the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness. In Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, the main character is seriously mentally ill and doesn't know what he's doing is wrong. Others say that the narrator is showing characteristics of sanity. This position is popular but, nevertheless, ignores facts. The main character in The Tell-Tale Heart shows characteristics of insanity.
While looking into the mind of a narrator who battles between claiming to be sane while portraying a reality of insanity, readers who have read Edgar Allen Poe's, "The Tell-Tale Heart," have stated the narrator is insane. A closer look shows that he is actually sane by means of nervousness, patience, and murder. The author, Edgar Allen Poe suggests sanity in the narrator by saying, "Why will you say that I am mad?" Throughout the story, the narrator's actions brought forth contempt, showing readers the narrator is attentive of his own surroundings. He analyzes nervousness through his theory of sanity, proclaiming it as merely having acute senses.
(Cara) Yes, it could be said that it is only the narrator's imagination. This is a good point, yet it fails to account for the narrator killing a man because of what he thinks. The claim that insanity eats you alive is supported in the text, “He had the eye 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 my mind to take the life of the old man” (Poe 2). “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Haunted Palace” by Edgar Allan Poe share similar themes and craft, yet are highly different.
The heartbeat of a dead man and his general fear of the old man illustrate his Schizophrenia and his disconnection from reality. These diagnoses are examples of the narrator’s characteristics that prove his
This short story contains an important theme that differs from “The Cask of Amontillado”. Human nature is a muted balance of light and dark or good and evil. Often this unstable balance is maintained; except, when there is a transition, for any reason, the dark or evil can consume the mind. In this situation it is the evil eye of the old man that sends the narrator into a demented state. It is his irrational fear that eventually summons his evil side to commit an unnecessary murder.
It was a low, dull, quick sound-much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not” (Poe). This quotation from The Tell-Tale Heart explains the mental state that the narrator was in. This is after the caretaker murdered the old man due to his known vulture eye, which taunted the narrator throughout the living time of the old man. It also tells the reader that the sound is indeed fake.
“Insanity is the state of being seriously ill;madness.”(The Urban Dictionary) In fact, Edgar Allan Poe states this in “The Tell Tale Heart” Edgar suggests this when he writes “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 pg.203).” There is no doubt the narrator of this story is insane. In fact, he expresses his insanity while believing he is sane.Obviously the narrator of “The Tale-Tell Heart” is crazy because he has bizarre thoughts, dismembered the old man”s body, and has a confusion of hearing heartbeats. The narrator has bizarre thoughts because he wants to kill an old man’s eye. You see, for seven nights he tried to kill the old man's eyes, but his eyes were always closed. “And this I did for seven long nights-every night just at midnight- but for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye( Poe pg.203).” Also, he says he gets furious when the light hits the man's eye.
Edgar Allan Poe has a unique way of showing madness throughout his short stories. Insanity is represented as the theme in these short stories through the narrators’ lack of reasons for committing murder. The horror and suspense Poe introduced throughout his work captured his talent while building tension over what the narrators’ actions would eventually be. One element of Poe’s work that I enjoy is how he grasped my attention with his creative set of skills, having me question the true meaning of insanity.
Crazy and Innocent How can a person who has mental illnesses know what he is doing when he kills an old man? In the story an insane man conceives a plan and then murders an elderly man and then confesses. In "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator is innocent by means of insanity of murdering the old man because he has a mental disease, cannot express emotion properly, and can hear noises in his head. On The first page of the story, the narrator tells us that he is mentally impaired. The narrator writes,"The disease has only sharpened my senses..." (Poe 78).