Comparing Madness And Insanity In Sredni Vashtar By Saki

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The difference in sanity and insanity is widely debated, although most agree that there are varying degrees, causes, and types of insanity. There’s the insane of someone who does something outside of societal norms, and there’s the insane of the screaming, pacing man in the mental institution. In the short story “Sredni Vashtar” by Saki, a boy losing pieces of his sanity little by little is seen, while in the short story “Tell-Tale Heart” a narrator already fully insane is introduced in the very beginning. In “TTH”, the reader meets a man who seems quite insane and knows that he is portrayed that way, yet still refuses to admit that he is. When the narrator says “ You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me.”, the narrator is trying to change our viewpoint of him, especially with “but”, because in his version of reality he is just a man haunted by an eye. As the narrator continues to elaborate on his situation by saying that “The disease had sharpened my senses--not destroyed--not dulled them”, we see that the narrator most likely had not always been mad, but after a disease his brain and personality were…show more content…
After the insane narrator of “TTH” murders the man with the ungodly eye, his guilt manifests as “... a low, dull, quick sound”, which the narrator takes to be the beating of the murdered man’s heart. While his guilt is not the “Oh god. I took a life guilt”, this may be a sign of the man’s guilt, albeist an odd sign, showing that he may not be completely insane. In “SV”, after realizing Sredni Vashtar killed his aunt “Conradin fished a toasting-fork out of the sideboard drawer and proceeded to toast himself a piece of bread”. Conradin’s calm demeanor while his aunt lays dead in a shed because of his wish is something truly frightening if you realize that a child is content with having someone killed because they were mean to

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