Examples Of Schizophrenia In The Tell Tale Heart

1851 Words 8 Pages
Brad MacFee
Essay #4
How the Tell-Tale Signs of Schizophrenia Provide a Motive for Killing “The Tell-Tale Heart,” by Edgar Allan Poe, features a schizophrenic narrator who recounts the sequence of events leading up to the murder of an old man and his eventual confession to the murder. Throughout the story, the narrator exhibits many strange behaviors that suggest that he is quite abnormal. For example, the narrator describes his extreme vendetta against, not the old man, but his “evil eye,” (Edgar Allan Poe). By the end of the story, the narrator has a friendly conversation with the police about the old man until he begins hearing a ringing sound that he says progressively grew in volume. The increasing volume of the sound led him to ultimately lash out in confession to the murder of the old man. The narrator is clearly abnormal, but what is to blame for his drastic actions? The narrator suffers from Schizophrenia, as indicated by his disorganized thoughts and speech, delusional beliefs about the old man’s eye, auditory hallucinations, and constant state of paranoia. Each of these symptoms present in the narrator continue to build up until the point where he responds to these symptoms, which is the ultimate reason for the murder of the old man. One of the most notable symptoms of schizophrenia exhibited by the narrator is his disorganized speech, which
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In the article, “Violence in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder,” Jan Volavka emphasizes that “In general, positive symptoms of schizophrenia are associated with an increased risk of violence.” (Volavka 25) where “positive symptoms” refer to hallucinations and delusions. The precise moment when the narrator decides to attack the old man is a direct result from the auditory hallucination of the intense volume of the “beating

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