The Tell Tale Heart Insanity Analysis

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The short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe is told from the perspective of a madman. The theme of this story is insanity can be caused by the smallest of things. This is proven by how the man is driven to kill an elder because of his “raven blue eye”. His only motive is coming from the insanity the eye is causing him, and this almost impeccable thing leads to confessing to a murder. In the beginning, the man explains his plans, caused only by an eye an old neighbor possesses. The author says, “He had never wronged me... for his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye!” (page 78). As you can believe, just the sight of this eye is what was troubling him, and what caused him to go berserk. There was no other…show more content…
He knows the old man is dead, but he can still see the eye in his mind. As the officers investigate the crime scene, this thought seems to be nagging at him. It goes as far as for him to think “They knew! -they were making mockery of my horror.” (page 83). As proven here, his mental state is breaking. He begins to get paranoid for his actions, and believes the officers are laughing at his mistakes, his failure, but they were simply humored by a joke. When revealing the old man’s body, he did so out of pure fear, that they saw the crime he committed, just like the old man’s eye. Now allow me to explain, of course the deceased man’s eye didn’t do anything wrong to him, but that’s is not what he was telling himself. He felt as if the eye could see through him, and that it knew what he was thinking. When looking at the eye, the man was weak and vulnerable, which is something he wouldn’t stand. In his mind, killing the man was the only option, as when the old man’s eye wasn’t haunting him was his only time at pure ease. In conclusion, a small thing, as in this case an eye, caused a man’s mental structure to crumble. The policemen, and the eye, made him feel as if he was exposed, though he never admitted such to himself. The man went to such extreme measures as to be trapped in prison at his own will for the rest of his days, just so he could be shut off from the rest of the world. That is why insanity can come from the smallest of
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