Tell-Tale Heart Essay, Research Paper
The Tell-Tale Heart
Blind Insanity Edgar Allen Poe ’ s “ The Tell Tale Heart ” is a short narrative about how a liquidator ’ s scruples overtakes him and whether the storyteller is insane or if he suffers from over acuteness of the senses. Poe suggests the storyteller is insane by the storyteller ’ s claims of saneness, the storyteller ’ s actions bring out the narrative sarcasm of the narrative, and the storyteller is insane harmonizing to the definition of insanity as it applies to “ The Tell Tale Heart ” . First, Poe suggests the storyteller is insane by his averments of saneness. For illustration, the storyteller declares because he planned the slaying so like an expert he could non be insane. He says, “ Now this is the point. You fancy me huffy. Lunatics know nil. But you should hold seen how sagely I proceeded-with what caution-with what foresight-with what deception I went to work! ” In add-on, every dark at midnight the storyteller easy went into the room of the old adult male. He claims this was done so sagely that he could non be insane. The storyteller thinks that if a slaying is carefully planned so the liquidator is non insane. Besides, the storyteller claims he suffers from over acuteness of the senses. Sing the sound of the old adult male ’ s crushing bosom, the storyteller says, “ And now have I non told you that what you mistake for lunacy is but over-acuteness of the senses? – now, I say, there came to my ears a low dull, speedy sound, such as a ticker makes when enveloped in cotton ” . The storyteller claims he is non conceive ofing the sound but he is hearing it because his senses are so crisp. The storyteller believes he is justified in killing the old adult male because the adult male has an Evil Eye. The storyteller claims the old adult male ’ s oculus made his blood run cold and the oculus looked as if it belonged to a vulture. Poe shows the storyteller is insane because the storytellers ’ actions bring out the narrative sarcasm used in “ The Tell Tale Heart ” . Through the usage of narrative sarcasm Poe shows ground non to swear what the storyteller says and alternatively do judgements based on the storytellers actions. The storyteller plans the slaying so good and with such logic but his grounds for slaying are irrational. The storyteller says he loves the old adult male but so vows to kill him. Speaking of the slaying, the storyteller says, “ Object there was none. Passion there was none. I love the old adult male he had ne’er wronged me. He had ne’er given me abuse. For his gold I had no desire ” . If the storyteller is non insane he would non kill a adult male he loves or want to kill person with an ugly oculus. The storyteller ’ s ground for the slaying of the old adult male is undue and deranged. This shows the narrative sarcasm used because person who commits a slaying with so small logic in the logical thinking can non be trusted. The storyteller decides to kill the old adult male because the old adult male ’ s oculus brings terror upon the storyteller whenever he sees it. The storyteller ’ s fright of the oculus is irrational. Sing the oculus the storyteller says, “ Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold ; and so by degrees-very gradually-I made up my head to take the life of the old adult male, and therefore rid myself of the oculus for of all time ” . Besides, the storyteller hears things which are non really happening. As the storyteller is looking in the old adult male ’ s room at midnight he thinks the old adult male ’ s bosom is crushing so loud that he can hear it from the room access and it keeps turning louder and louder in his ears. He says, “ But the whipping grew louder, louder! I thought the bosom must split. And now a new anxiousness seized me-the sound would be heard by a neighbour ” . It is non possible for a bosom to crush loud plenty so person standing in a room access could hear it at all. Therefore, it is evident
the narrator does not suffer from over acuteness of the senses but instead he is imagining the sounds he hears. This is also justified by how he hears the beating of the old man’s heart under the floorboards even though he knows the man is dead. Due to this evidence the narrator’s claim of suffering from over acuteness of the senses cannot be trusted. Finally, the definition of insanity as it relates to “The Tell Tale Heart” fits the actions of the narrator. The narrator is insane because his actions are criminally foolish and unreasonable. In addition, the narrator shows many times he suffers from a disorder of the mind which makes him unable to distinguish between right and wrong. Poe suggests this definition of insanity fits the narrator. The narrator is unjustified in his reasoning for killing the old man. He says, “…but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me but his Evil Eye”. The narrator likes the old man and cannot kill him unless he can see the Evil Eye. This shows how unreasonable it is that he should kill the old man. Also, killing the old man is a criminally foolish action, therefore the narrator is insane. In the earlier moments of the story, the narrator explains that he hears many things. He says, “Above all was a sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell”. Poe suggests the narrator is hearing voices and noises in his mind. This constitutes a disorder of the narrator’s mind. Also, the narrator’s physical actions while he hears the beating of the heart suggest he is insane. The narrator says, “I paced the floor to and fro with many strides, as if excited to fury by the observation of the men-but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! What could I do? I foamed-I raved-I swore!” The narrator is going mad in his own mind. Poe suggests this because as the narrator is ranting and raving the police are still chatting and smiling. The narrator believes his actions are actually occurring but it is obvious that the swearing, raging, and throwing of the chair are only taking place in his mind. During the act of killing the old man, the narrator says, “I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done”. The narrator commits this tragic act and feels no sense of wrongdoing. The narrator kills the old man and after the murder says, “The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead”. When the police officers are present, the narrator hears the heart of the old man beating from underneath the floorboards. This is impossible because the body had been dismembered and the man was dead. Poe clearly shows that the narrator is insane because he heard noises, which could not possibly have occurred. As the police officers were sitting and talking in the old man’s chamber, the narrator becomes paranoid that the officers suspect him of murder. The narrator says, “I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die”. The narrator is deluded in thinking the officers knew of his crime because his insanity makes him paranoid. In conclusion, Poe shows the insanity of the narrator through the claims of the narrator as to why he is not insane, the actions of the narrator bring out the narrative irony of the story, and the character of the narrator fits the definition of insanity as it applies to “The Tell Tale Heart”. The “Tell Tale Heart” is a story about how insanity can overtake someone’s mind and cause one to behave irrationally.