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. To understand if someone is insane or not, American society must lay bare a universal definition for insanity. As a whole, society today does not shy away from using words such as insane or crazy. This careless use of words leads to the definitions becoming less clear. Without a clear-cut definition for insanity not only does the word lose its power, but it also causes people to create their on definition for the word, usually with themselves …show more content…
There are many mental illnesses that would lead to insane behaviors ranging from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder to Schizophrenia. While it is difficult for the average person diagnose mental disorders from such a short story, the narrator likely has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The care he takes in every aspect of his nightly stalking show the telltale characteristic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: “And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it- oh so gently!” (Poe 1). During this nocturnal ritual, the narrator goes slowly and cautiously enters the old mans room, his work progressing at a snail’s pace. With the caution and methodical prowess of a deft horologist, the narrator stalks his prey. While his meticulous attention to detail isn’t an inherent sign of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the activity the narrator applies the practice to is what lends to the diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and, subsequently his compulsive behavior. Another possible mental illness that the narrator suffers from is Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes the sufferer to hear voices that are not actually there or experience paranoia. The narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” hears the sound of a dead man’s heart beat: “I admit the deed! -tear up the planks! -here, here! -it is the beating of his hideous heart!” (Poe 4) After killing the man; chopping up his body; and hiding it beneath the floorboards, the narrator the narrator hears a noise that, at first, he cannot place. The heartbeat of a dead man and his general fear of the old man illustrate his Schizophrenia and his disconnection from reality. These diagnoses are examples of the narrator’s characteristics that prove his
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The Tell-Tale Heart is a story about a nameless narrator who claims that he is not insane but rather has some sort of “disease”(Poe 303). A disease that has “sharpened [his] senses”(Poe 303). To prove that he isn’t insane, he begins by saying, “How, then, am I mad? Hearken!
Firstly, he killed the old man because of his eye. Additionally , he claimed that he kept hearing the heartbeat when the old man was dead. In closing, he had no control over himself. The difference between a sane person and an insane person is how they think and act. The narrator is obviously insane since he acted easy and normal in situations that are expected to be handled differently, like the time the policemen came to question him about the noises coming out of the house.
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 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).
Humanity’s Delusion 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 the first few paragraphs Poe already presents us important details to the story.
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. Imagine killing a loved one because of a simple physical feature.
To begin, the narrator cannot be trusted through his vague personality. The narrator claims, “And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night” (Poe 626). The narrator mentions this the morning after the seventh night of stalking. In the wee hours of the morning, the narrator ever so cautiously enters the old man’s bedroom.
He refers to himself as Death, implying he has all knowledge and power over the old man. The reader becomes filled with dread as the man patiently waits to kill. The imagery portrayed in “The Tell-tale Heart” increases the demented tone that the narrator projects as the main character waits to strangle the old man. Every night, for a week, the murderer would “look in” upon the victim as he slept.
“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 Tell-Tale Heart Argumentative Paragraph 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.
- it is the beating of the hideous heart.’” This shows that the man believed that he was hearing the beating heart of an already dead man. Since, this is obviously not true, this proves that the murderer does indeed have mental disease. This would be a very vital piece of information if this case were to go to trial. The fact that this man has a mental disease would save him from being eligible from the death penalty.
Insane or Sane? 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.
The Tell-Tale Heart: Indirect Characterization In the excerpt “from The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allen Poe creates the conflicted character of an unnamed narrator through indirect characterization. Using the components of Action, what others say, and character’s internal thoughts, Poe portrays a story about insanity and reveals the conflicted and even insane thoughts and emotions going on in the character’s head. Poe uses Action as a component of indirect characterization to depict the meaning of the poem in many instances.
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. The story 's action is depicted through the eyes of the unnamed delusional narrator. The other main character in the story is an old man whom the narrator apparently works for and resides in his house. The story opens off with the narrator trying to assure his sanity then proceeding to tell the tale of his crime, this shows a man deranged and hunted with a guilty conscience of his murderous act.
The Tell-Tale Heart written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1843 is about a man who claims he is not insane but only nervous. In turn, he tells a story to defend his sanity, in which he confesses to have killed an old man. He claims that his ambition was neither passion nor greed for money, but actually uneasiness of the old man’s pale blue eyes. He continues to insist that he isn’t mad because of his calm and collected actions. Even though he is a murderer, he claims that his composed actions aren’t ones of a psychopath.