Mental Illness In The Tell Tale Heart

704 Words3 Pages
In the short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the author writes the story in first person perspective of the main character. The main character acknowledges that he has a disease that allows him to perceive and look at things differently in reality. This mental illness prompts him to want to kill an innocent man because the narrator loathes the old man’s eye. On the eighth night, the main character abruptly kills the old man and confesses to the police because of the panic and pride that has overcome his mind. Now, the killer, guilty, is being determined by what is to become of him. In this case, the calculated killer should not receive the death penalty, but be given 20 years of prison with psychiatric care based on the 8th amendment, the fact that he murdered someone, and his mental illness.…show more content…
In the story the author writes about how the main character has a mental illness which causes him to hear things in his imagination. On page 381 of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” it states, “I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.” (Poe, 1843) As a matter of fact, this means that because of his disease, he is not able to think clearly and have a clear touch of reality. The 8th amendment clearly states that no one should receive a cruel and unjust punishment from the federal government. Because the killer could not think straight, this case is argued over whether or not the death penalty is too extreme for a man who can’t even control his
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