"The Tell-Tale Heart is often told by a first person narrator, and through this voice Poe probes the workings of a character's psyche” (World Literature Criticism). This quotation backs up the thought that the narrator had a mental issue, which is shown with him being obsessive with a specific sound that is non existent. “The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment...yet for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still” (Poe). The narrator described an imaginary sound that seemed to be unknown by the reader, but from looking at his obsession with the heart of the old man, it’s beating is the only thing that the sound can be narrowed down to.
The narrator in "The Tell Tale Heart" denies being mad, reasoning "you fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you...should have seen how wisely I proceeded" (Poe 1). When the narrator goes from calm at the beginning, to violent and angry during the interrogation, it shows how unstable and how affected they are by their guilt. Grace is quite unstable as she is always switching moods and acting on impulse.
Demonic Possession Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as one of the greatest writers of all time, writing many of some America’s most well known stories. “A Tell-Tale Heart” is a story narrated by a man who, is believed to have schizophrenia and kills an innocent old man merely because of his eye. Though there may be a different diagnosis for the murderer, the story is told in first person but referring to the past, meaning that the narrator may be telling someone else. Throughout the story, the narrator shows a few strange actions. Such as how; the perspective in which the story is being told, the narrator strangely confesses in a loud and expressive way, the old man’s eye being the only reason as to why the narrator would want to kill him, the
“The Tell Tale Heart’s” narrator began the short story with an engaging line, talking about how he has not gone mad. The whole story was surrounded by darkness. This was mainly portrayed by the narrator’s constant talk regarding the murder that he just committed. The narrator was convinced he was sane and had every reason to take apart of the action that he recently did. The idea alone of murder demonstrated maliciousness and pure evilness.
In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the narrator becomes conscious that he lacks a distinct motive for killing the old man he dwells with. He admits he loves the man, even after committing the deed. He states, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult.
If he were to not overreact, he would’ve gone away with it. Nevertheless, this is the crucial life-changing action he decided to take, only in a negative way. A first-person narrator is vital to the plot of “Tell-Tale Heart”, and its perspective is as if the author is the main character of the story. Understanding the author’s deliberate structure of suspense helps understand the story in depth, and the internal conflict synchronizes well with the author’s clockwork. The narrator’s sanity is questioned, as the irony takes over until the end of the story.
The main character in The Tell-Tale Heart shows characteristics of insanity. Readers can tell that the main character in the story was confused about daily life. In the story, the main character said, "My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct… until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears… and yet the officers heard it not" (5-6).
The narrator from "The Tell-Tale Heart" hid his victim under the floorboards while the narrator from "The Black Cat" hid his victim inside the wall in the cellar. After they hid the bodies they both feel very proud and even boast to the reader about what a good job they did. The narrator from "The Tell-Tale Heart" can be quoted saying, "I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye, not even his, could have detected anything wrong." (pg. 717) He even ends his boasting with a ha!
This adds to the disturbing. On top of that Poe also uses irony to convey the mood in The Tell-Tale Heart. “”Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed-tear up the planks!-here, here!-it is the beating of his hideous heart’” (Literature Book 207). The narrator is going crazy hearing what he thinks is the beating heart of the dead old man he murdered, but it was actually his own heart beating rapidly out of guilt.