Addiction In The Tell Tale Heart

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The Haunting Retribution of a Tortured Man The “Tell Tale Heart”, published in 1843, is a gothic short story written by the infamous author Edgar Allen Poe. Poe is known for many poems and short stories such as “The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” to name a few. “The Tell Tale Heart” is an eerie fiction of an unreliable narrator attempting to convince the reader of his sanity. In doing so, he reveals more about his insanity while he tells the tale of a dark deed. The narrator is psychotic.
In “The Tell Tale Heart,” an unnamed narrator revisits the night his sanity drove him to commit the murder of an old man whom he lives with. The old man is depicted as a little less ordinary, for he is described to have a pale blue vulture-like
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Typically, a story begins with a setting of the scene. It immediately dives into a reaction of something or someone. The story opens with the neurotic narrator telling the reader that he is nervous, “True! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?... How, then, am I mad?” (Poe 1). He appears to be a anxious person by the way he often repeats himself, and the way he explains his thoughts. He frequently stresses the reader that he is not insane. The narrator claims to have a disease, which sharpened his senses, more specifically his hearing, “I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.” (1). Perhaps, if he could things from hell, he could have heard bad things about the old man. He proceeded to tell the reader, “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 up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever” (Poe 2) Since his reasoning is completely illogical, the reader can infer that he is mentally unstable. The narrator’s motive and style of execution for the murder is rather strange. Instead of…show more content…
There was neither an objective nor the passion. He loved the old man but since he felt threatened by his eye, he figured the old man had to die.
The narrator shows clear indications of mental illness. In the beginning he mentioned having a disease which sharpened his senses. He is evidently aware of his unnatural capability, but he might not know which exact disease he has. He appeared most to show signs of schizophrenia. Dorothy Ruiz, an Associate Professor in the Africana Studies Department at UNC Charlotte, wrote in Epidemiology of Schizophrenia: Some Diagnostic and Sociocultural Consideration:
Schizophrenia is an illusive illness. The symptoms consist of delusions of persecution or reference not occurring in the context of severe depression; grandiose, religious, somatic, or bizarre delusions, but not in a setting of severe depression or mania; disordered thought or body control; and hallucinations, but not depressive in content and not symptomatic of alcohol addiction.
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