Examples Of Insanity In The Tell Tale Heart

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Insanity Plea Essay: Persecution
In Edgar Allan Poe’s morbid and suspenseful story, The Tell-Tale Heart, the deranged narrator is tormented by an old man’s pale blue eye. As the story progresses, he describes what led up to him killing the old man and hiding the body. The killer does admit to the crime; the question is, is he legally insane? According to USLegal.com, the legal definition of insanity can be summed up as a person, at the scene of the crime, not able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, tell right from wrong or control his/her behavior. By analyzing the evidence, I have determined the killer not legally insane during the act of murdering the old man.
It is evident in the story that the killer can determine fantasy from reality. All parts of the story told are relevant and show awareness of everything that is happening. For example, in the beginning, the killer reiterates that he is not insane and boasts about how clearly he can tell the story. If the killer was in fact mad, as some would claim, why would he bring up the possibility of his insanity. Wouldn’t it make more sense to hide this instead of bringing it into the open? In the story the killer says,”How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily- how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe 203). …show more content…

For instance, even though the killer believes he has a valid reason for murdering the old man, he becomes terribly frightened that the neighbors will hear the loud beating of the man’s heart and be alarmed. As stated in the text,”...the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me- the sound would be heard by a neighbour!” (Poe 205). This feeling of anxiety proves the killer knows what he is doing is wrong. In the end, an overpowering guilt of the crime leads to his confession to the police. Also, hiding the body of the victim shows the killer doesn’t want to get

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