Madness In The Tell-Tale Heart And The Black Cat

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Have I gone Mad? Madness can be defined as: a state of severe mental illness (Webster n.p.). This can involve behavior or thinking that is quite foolish and dangerous. That being stated, both the main characters in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” are perceived to be mad in their own personal traits. In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the narrator murders the old man that he resides with because he is troubled by the man’s vulture eye. Similarly, in “The Black Cat”, the narrator attempts to kill his second cat but slaughters his beloved wife when she tries to protect the animal. Madness is a common characteristic of both the narrators in these stories. Madness is signified in both “The Tell-Tale-Heart” and “The Black Cat” through the speakers’ lack of adequate reasoning for obligating murder. In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the narrator becomes conscious that he lacks a distinct motive for killing the old man he dwells with. He admits he loves the man, even after committing the deed. He states, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire” (Tell-Tale Heart 3). The statement he uses is quite horrid. He does not think rationally what…show more content…
Paradoxically, his overemphasis of his sanity causes the reader to assume he is essentially mad. He merely lacks motive for killing the old man. He proves to be insane and mentally unstable by his actions previous and after committing the deed. An example of his insanity is portrayed through the narrator’s action of welcoming the police to converse in the room where the narrator has concealed the old man’s body, and placing his chair directly atop of where the corpse has been disposed of. He premeditated the murder, and then felt confident enough to boast by doing this. In the conclusion of the story, the narrator hears the man’s heartbeat. This confirms his madness by perceiving something
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