Essay Edgar Allan Poe 's The Tell Tale Heart

1949 Words Nov 29th, 2016 8 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe, responsible for many of the most renowned works of poetry and short fiction, often includes a “psychological intensity” in his writing that has created interest in the interaction between psychology and literature (“Edgar Allan Poe”). One of his best-known works, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” is a good example of this interaction, showcasing Poe’s interpretation of psychological fiction and the genre of horror. In the story, the narrator recounts his tale of the killing of his housemate, an old man with an evil eye, to an unnamed audience. In the narrator’s story, he describes how he waits and watches the old man for seven nights before finally killing him on the eighth night. Although the narrator tries to convince his audience that he is not mad, he eventually admits that he has killed the old man in a fit of madness. The motive behind the crime, the evil eye, has become the focus of many critical analyses. Many critics have focused on the narrator’s obsession with the evil eye, and they have used various forms of psychoanalysis to attempt to diagnose the narrator’s illness. However, because psychoanalysis is not always accurate, and because the narrator’s behavior can be interpreted as the result of many different mental illnesses, I will explore other methods of analyzing the narrator’s motivations. To explain the narrator’s reason for killing the old man and the reason for his fixation on the evil eye, I will first address how other critics have…

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