Insanity In Tell-Tale Heart

1275 Words6 Pages
J.K. Rowling, author of the bestselling Harry Potter series, claims that the “first sign of madness [is] talking to your own head.” We can clearly observe the absurd amount of time the narrator talks to himself. In addition, the caretaker doesn’t see he is mad because he is the one suffering from this extraordinary condition. The unreliable narrator of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Tell-Tale Heart” is the subject of a constant debate of insanity vs. sanity. During this unusual short story, the narrator, a servant in the old man’s household, plans and kills the old man because the old man’s diseased eye freaks him out. Because of his ridiculous actions, we can easily prove that he suffers from severe insanity as a result of his obsession with the old man’s blue eye. Poe illustrates the horrific effects of the narrator’s obsession, including his insistence on sanity, periods of…show more content…
However many times the narrator, the caretaker of the old man’s household, claims that he is completely sane and rational, there is overwhelming evidence through his unhealthy obsession that he suffers from some sort of madness. He shouldn’t need to tell us that he is sane if he actually was sane. We would be able to tell through his actions! Only someone who is lying says, “I’m honestly telling the truth.” The first reason that displays the narrator’s insanity is that he wants to kill the poor old man just because of the elderly gentleman’s weird blue eye. The unreliable butler of old man’s residence claims that“[o]ne of [the old man’s] eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever” (Poe 13). An ordinary person might find the eye disturbing or disgusting, but only an insane person would want to kill the man because of his eye. Many
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