Theme Of Insanity In The Tell Tale Heart

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In Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of criminal insanity, the first-person narrators confess unsound confessions. They control the narrative, and we can only see through their eyes. However, they do describe their own pathological or psychological actions so conscientiously that they exhibit their own insanity. They are usually incapable of stepping back from their narratives to detect their own madness. The narrator 's’ fluency is meticulous and often opulent. It usually implies a revelation as a defense of sanity. In the tales of criminal insanity, the first-person narrators are the protagonists, focusing on their conflicts with hysteria and the law. In The Tell-tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe uses many symbols such as, the Evil Eye, the watch, the narrator…show more content…
At the same time that the main character is haunted by the eye, he wants to separate the old man from the Evil Eye in order to save the old man from his hysterical reaction to the eye. The narrator reveals his incompetence to recognize that the “eye” is the identity of the old man. The eyes symbolize the essence of human identity, which can’t be removed from the body. The eye can’t be killed without causing the man to…show more content…
A watch is a visual and auditory portrayal of time. Each tick of the watch symbolizes a moment closer to the imminent death that all humans face. Poe presents this subtly in the story 's first mention of the watch: "A watch 's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine" (Poe). The narrator literally controls the time of the old man 's death. The old man 's heart is also a watch. It watches and counts down the time leading up to the old man 's death. Another symbol is the narrator. The narrator is such a wreck, it 's hard not to feel sorry for him. He 's nervous, paranoid, and physically and mentally ill. He doesn 't understand the difference between the "real" and the "unreal", and seems to be utterly alone and friendless in the world. The reader can also infer that the narrator seldom sleeps, which could drive him pass the point of insanity.
The bed in A Tell-Tale Heart symbolizes the opposite of what beds and bedrooms are suppose to represent. The narrator completely violates the sanctity of the bedroom in this story, by taking advantage of the vulnerability of the old man, who is sleeping. Poe turns the symbol of the bed on its head. The narrator uses the bed as weapon to snuff out the old man, since the bed is the murder weapon, it 's reasonable that the bedroom is also the
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