The Tell-Tale Heart

Improved Essays
The Psychoanalysis of the Narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” The short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe is a brutal murder story where the narrator is telling his story of how he kills an old man that he loves because of his “Evil eye.” The narrator has an evil obsession with the Old Man’s “eye of a vulture.” The narrator explains his hatred for the Old Man’s eye, and he tried to justify his reasoning to kill the Old Man. There are many theories to the factors behind the narrator’s mental status. One example of a theory of the motive behind the narrator’s action is expressed by Arthur E. Robinson: “...evil connected with the speaker’s madness...” (Robinson 101). Other theories of the motives consist of inner demons controlling …show more content…
The narrator said “I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.” (Poe). The narrator had completely made his mind that the only way to get rid of the “evil eye” and his hatred for it was to murder the Old Man. The fact that the narrator was also scared of the noises in the dark shows his mental instability because he openly admits to staying up at night in fear of the noises at night and often having nightmares. “I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me.” (Poe). The narrator openly admits to having some kind of mental disease. “The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them.”(Poe). Many of the actions taken by the narrator lack any form of humanity. "I know what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart." (Poe). This quote shows the sociopathic ideology behind this character. The mental illness of this character caused him to believe he would be doing himself a favor by taking the life of the Old Man and ridding the “evil eye” from his life so he wouldn’t have to see the “eye of a vulture.” Bouchard believed madness was a motive in the murder of the Old Man. “Madness

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