Modern artists today generally use images of physical and mental illness in literature. In The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, both short stories show the usage of illness, madness, and fear. The narrators in both stories try to convince the readers that the characters are physically and mentally ill. Edgar Allen Poe creates these vivid characters which successfully assist the building of plot and ideas. Poe demonstrates how a person’s inner turmoil and terror can lead to insanity through illustrative language.
In the story, “ The Tell-Tale Heart ,” Poe gives ideas which could prove that the narrator is criminally insane. The narrator could be named mad for some of his many actions and thoughts. The facts supporting this include: the defendant killed the old man over his “evil eye”, he brutally murdered the man and dismembered his body, he has to remind himself that he isn’t mad even though he committed murder, and states that he hears the dead man's heartbeat get louder and louder until he confesses murder. To begin with, the defendant kills the old man he lived with over his “evil” eye. He states that it gets to him, and drives him to eventually, after the 8th night, kill him. One’s argument may be the
Insanity is a disease capable of making a person lose control of themselves. On the other hand, sanity is when a person is what others call “normal”. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe the narrator kills a man and he is confessing to the cops about it. He confesses how long the murder took and what he did each night and how he executed the murder. However, the narrator is not guilty because of the reason of insanity.
In·sane /inˈsān/ (adjective) in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill. No one ever expects to go insane, no one knows when they are going insane, and in “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator doesn’t think he’s insane either. There is a debate on whether or not he is insane, but despite his opinion, and whoever else's, this narrator is insane, and this is proven by his lack of reason and his auditory hallucinations.
Insanity is defined in many ways. It’s all up to the person and their point of view. The actual definition of insanity is “a mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior. Insanity is distinguished from low intelligence or mental deficiency due to age or injury.” (via http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=979) The narrator from the short story “The Tell Tale Heart” is a lot of things. One of the ways I describe him is insane.The narrator from “The Tell Tale Heart” is insane because he killed the old man due to his pale blue eye, kept hearing the heartbeat when the
Edgar Allan Poe effectively utilizes different elements in the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” to convey his message. Poe believes that literary pieces should be short enough to finish in one sitting yet still be able to tell just as much to give more impact to the readers (Cummings, 2010). As does his other writings, “The Tell-Tale Heart” portrays several characteristics people have, revealing much about certain extremities in human nature and society in general.
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). The description of the old man’s eye fits perfectly to an eye of a person who is blind
“Insanity: n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior” (Hill). This definition describes the narrator, a sweet yet deadly man, of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe seamlessly. (Appositive) A few prominent characteristics demonstrate the narrator’s insanity, and those include his motives, his actions, and his thoughts.
The terrifying story, “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe is down right bizarre. I believe the narrator is definitely a little strange whether you may disagree or not. Edgar Allen Poe had a very interesting way of applying the narrator to act like he is not crazy, but at the same time basically baby feeding the readers that he really is crazy. There are several ways the narrator himself is actually proving he is insane.
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”( Voltaire) This quote helps explain the main idea of
The Tell-Tale Heart is a story about an insane narrator claiming to his sanity after murdering an old man out of anxiety and panic. Many believe the evidence points to the narrator being a calculated killer. After reviewing the symptoms of the narrator I believe him to be a man plagued with anxiety issues and panic attacks. First of all, the only reason the narrator had for such crime was of his eye, the eye of a vulture, nothing else. Not for his gold, property, or vengeance just his eye. He said "Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees- very gradually- I made up my mind, and thus rid myself for the eye forever,". The chills, discomfort, and sense of unreality are all symptoms of Panic Disorder and Anxiety Disorder.
“I've heard many things in the heaven and in the earth. I've heard many things in hell”(Poe). In the story The tell tale heart, a man ends up killing his old man over his “Vulture eye”. He loved the old man. But his “evil eye” vexed him and he decided to take his life. The man placed the old man's body cleverly under the chamber’s floorboards. A disturbance was issued during the night and investigators came to the man's residence. He convinces the investigators, but.The man began to feel pale, He was starting to become nervous. The man was beginning to hear loud noise. It was the beat of the old man's heart. He couldn't take it. He tore up the floorboards and pleaded guilty. As a result, the narrator is insane and should not be prosecuted.
One thing that both narrators have in common is that even though it is obvious they are, both are convinced they are not insane. In "The Black Cat," even though the narrator agrees that it is hard to believe, he tells the reader, "Yet, mad am I not." (pg. 718) And in "The Tell-Tale Heart" the narrator dose not just state his sanity but also tries to convince the reader by saying, "observe how healthily, how calmly I can tell you the whole story." (pg. 715) He goes on to tell the reader that madmen know nothing and thinks that just because he knew what he was doing means he is not mad.
Obsession, internal conflict, and underlying guilt are all aspects of being human but when it’s associated with paranoia and insanity it may be just the recipe for the perfect crime as perceived by Edger Allan Poe in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Poe uses this as one of his shortest stories to discuss and provide an insight into the mind of the mentally ill, paranoia and the stages of mental detrition.
To properly determine whether or not the narrator in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” is insane a definition of insanity must be brought to light; possible explanations for his transgression must be examined, and the scope of information that has been provided must be understood for what it is.