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The Tell-Tale Heart Theme Of Insanity

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In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, one of the themes is insanity. Insanity is portrayed from the opening statement of the narrator, his actions, and in his final fall into insanity during his confession. The opening statement of the narrator fails at expressing his sanity to the reader. The opening statement of the narrator says, “TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” The narrator says, “I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?” He continuously questions the reader how he is mad. This makes the reader start to wonder if he is insane. Why else would he keep questioning the reader? The narrator says, “Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.” As he…show more content…
After he had murdered the man, three police officers came knocking at the door. He confidently let them in, and allowed them search the house. He brought chairs into the room where he had disposed of the corpse. He had convinced the police that everything was okay, but then he started to feel disturbed. He said, “I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone.” As his stress builds his ears began to ring. As the sound increased he panics, and begins to talk faster. The narrator began to lose his composer. He says, “I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards…” to try to cover up the imagined sound of the man’s beating heart. In his final decent into madness he decided that the officers could hear the sound, “...they were making a mockery of my horror!” Then the confession began. He began to admit his crime, and told them to rip up the planks. He says, “...here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!" While the narrator urges the reader not to question his sanity the reader effortlessly follows his fall into insanity. His arrogance gave away to his nervousness and finally to
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