The Tell Tale Heart The Narrator's Insanity Analysis

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“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 narrator in this story has a dilemma that establishes his senselessness. He knows that he wants to kill his roommate, but he doesn’t have a real motive: “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man” (Poe 303). He just wanted to sooth the feeling…show more content…
His problems may have caused him to become a killer and lose feeling for what is right and what is wrong. Also, when the killer was waiting to make his move, he heard the heart beat of the old man, and that sound repeated itself in his brain and jacked him up to kill. The narrator tried to convince the reader that he was not a mad man over and over again. After the murder he tries again to sell us his sanity: “And now have I [narrator] not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses” (Poe 305). He truly believes, with all his heart, that chopping up another human being heightened his senses and made him a better person. (Prepositional Phrase) Any lucid individual would not think that killing someone made him or her into a superhuman, let alone think about killing someone in the first place. Finally, the narrator’s conscious drove him mad. In the final scene of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” while the police were sitting with the killer, thoughts kept racing through his mind. Guilt finally overflowed his brain, and that forced him into confessing his responsibility in the old man’s slaughter. All of his deranged actions validate his madness. The narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” is discernibly a madman. His motives, actions, and thoughts prove his insanity. The definition of insanity fits the narrator to a T. His psychosis controlled his behaviors and pushed him into chopping up another human being and disposing the pieces like
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