Tell Tale Heart Analysis

Tell-Tale Heart NarratorーMentally Unstable or a Calculated Killer?
Edgar Allen Poe, one of the world’s most influential writers, often wrote stories and poems about people whose sanity could be questioned. One of his most famous short stories, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” is no different. The narrator of this story murders an old man, and then proceeds to admit to the murder. The question that must be asked is, “Is the narrator a calculated killer or is he just mentally unstable?” The evidence in the story proves that the narrator is mentally unstable. His insanity is well-hidden behind the facade of a calculated killer; however, his true insanity is shown times throughout the story.
Some people may say that the narrator is a calculated killer.
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His insanity is first shown in the second paragraph when he says, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye!ーyes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vultureーa pale blue eye, with a film over it.” The narrator of the story was obsessed with the old man’s blind eye, which eventually drove him to murder the old man. Only a truly insane person would be willing to murder a kind old man because of his blind eye. Another instance where the narrator’s insanity is shown occurs in paragraph ten when the narrator recounts, “...[I] saw [the eye] with perfect distinctness... I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person.” The narrator sees the old man’s eye, and is unable to see the rest of the old man’s face or body due to his intense loathing of the eye. Most often than not, an insane likker will commit murder because of something that frightens him or her. In this case, the narrator is driven to murder the old man because of the old man’s “Evil …show more content…
He believes the heartbeat is merely an aftereffect of the murder, but as it grows increasingly louder, he begins to question if the heartbeat is really in his head. The narrator begins to talk with the policemen in order to drown out the heartbeat, and as it increases in volume, he talks louder and more passionately. In chapter seventeen, the narrator states, “I foamedーI ravedーI swore!” He is willing to do anything to drown out the heartbeat that has come back to haunt him. When the narrator observes that the policemen do not hear the heartbeat, he believes that they are mocking him. As a result of his madness, he says, “Villains!... I admit to the deed!... here!ー it’s the beating of his hideous heart!” The narrator admits to murdering the old man, and he even shows the policemen where he hid the body in order to escape the horrid heartbeat.
The narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a certifiably insane person. He murders an old man because of the old man’s “Evil Eye,” hears things that are not real, becomes prideful in the cleverness with which he murdered the old man, and even admits to the murder to escape the heartbeat he believes he can hear. In the end, the narrator proves his true insanity despite his cunningly crafted facade of

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