The Tell-Tale Heart: A Character Analysis

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Many people suffer from mental illnesses, one of the more serious ones being schizophrenia, as it affects the way that someone “acts, thinks, and sees the world”. Although one may not know someone with this it is a fairly prominent mental disorder. People with schizophrenia tend to have a disconnection from reality. Schizophrenic people with the disease often fear others and have a difficult time doing daily activities (“Schizophrenia” 1). In fact many authors utilize this as a central plot point for the character to make them go crazy. Edgar Allan Poe uses the disease for his character in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” where the character ends up committing murder because of his distorted view of reality. Although he is a fictional character he shows many of the same symptoms as real world schizophrenics; Specifically he has delusions of persecution and hallucinations.
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The two are very similar to each other however, hallucinations affect one's five senses so unlike delusions instead of just thinking an idea one can actually see, feel, or hear it. They are basically “Sounds or other sensations experienced as real when they only exist in the person’s mind.” Auditory hallucinations are the most common where one may hear things that don’t actually exist.Another common hallucination is visual hallucinations where one may see non-existent objects or people, it may even be the case that one instead doesn’t see something (“Schizophrenia” 1). Actually in “The Tell-Tale Heart” the narrator appears to suffer from a multitude of hallucinations. The most prominent one is probably when he heard “the beating of the old man’s heart” Even though he is across the room. (Poe 3). Obviously this was a hallucinations most likely he was very nervous and perceived his own heartbeat as coming from an outside source. Clearly he is under hallucinations that make it hard to realize what reality

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