The Theme Of Insanity In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

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Insanity can be defined as a state of being seriously mentally ill. Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Tell-Tale Heart in 1843 as a short story. It consists of a man taking care of of an older gentleman for eight consecutive nights. Over this time, the narrator spoke to the reader as if the reader defined him a madman. The beating of the old man’s heart made the narrator lose his sense of sanity. "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. “He interprets this sound as the beating of the old man’s heart, but it would have been impossible for him to hear such a noise unless his ear were against the old man’s chest” (Zimmerman). In fact, the narrator did not put his ear up against the old man at any
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It was a low, dull, quick sound-much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not” (Poe). This quotation from The Tell-Tale Heart explains the mental state that the narrator was in. This is after the caretaker murdered the old man due to his known vulture eye, which taunted the narrator throughout the living time of the old man. It also tells the reader that the sound is indeed fake. If the police officers could not hear the noise, how could the narrator? The only explanation is that the narrator is a
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