The Tell Tale Heart What Is The Narrator's Madness

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Madness can lead a man to his downfall, as demonstrated in Edgar Allen Poe’s classic short story The Tell-Tale Heart. In this narrative, the narrator clearly states that he is not mad, but the reader can easily conclude that this is untrue through the narrator’s point of view. Poe insinuated early on that the narrator had some sort of disease which heightens his senses. Above all, this disease made his “sense of hearing acute” (page 1, paragraph 1). Because the narrator claimed he had this strange disease the reader questions his mental soundness. Also, Poe uses punctuation such as dashes between words to show the narrator’s constant nervousness, which continues throughout the course of the story. Poe continues to illustrate the narrator’s madness through his obsession with an old man’s eye. The speaker says how this old man had never wronged him or given him insult. He didn’t even care that this man was a rich one. It was the man’s eye that vexed him. He describes the eye as “the eye of a vulture”. The eye made the narrator’s blood run cold; therefore he decided to kill the man (pg. 1, paragraph 2). This rash decision the speaker makes causes the reader to begin to question his sanity, because it seems very odd that he would kill this man…show more content…
At this point, the narrator has crafted a detailed and careful plan to kill the old man. He was extremely kind to the old man before he killed him, and every night he opened the door wider, and wider. As he executes this convoluted plan, the narrator keeps reminding the reader that he is not mad, saying things like “would a madman have been so wise as this…” (page 1, paragraph 3) and “…have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense?” (page 2, paragraph 6). By constantly mentioning his mental stability, the reader questions it more and more, which is what makes insanity such a prominent idea in the
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