The Narrators Story in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Updated August 1, 2022

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The Narrators Story in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe essay

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Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” takes place after a series of unsettling events perpetrated by the narrator. The narrator very clearly seeks to prove to his unspecified audience that he is not insane. After reading the entire story one can safely make the assumption that the narrator has been arrested and is attempting to defend himself against an accusation of insanity made by some authority figure like a judge or police officer. The narrator’s primary argument is that he cannot be mad because he successfully planned and executed a murderous plot. The narrator begins by admitting that he has been ill in some unnamed way. He describes his sense being heightened and an obsessive fear of the old man’s funky eye as his symptoms. The narrator utterly fails in defending his sanity, highlighting one of the author’s main thematic points in the story; the first symptom of insanity is that one does not know that they are insane.

Therefore the argument that the narrator gives for himself only serves to further highlight his mental instability. As he describes how he watched the old man sleep for seven nights, happily took the old man’s life, and dismantled his body, the narrator essentially pronounces himself criminally insane. The final stroke of sheer idiocy is how the narrator expects the police and the reader to believe that he can hear the heart of the dismembered old man. To summarize, the narrator tells the reader and the police present at the incident that he cannot be insane because he carried our his murder plot perfectly and was only found out because he handed over the evidence after the heart of the dead man continued to beat extremely loudly inside his head after the murder.

The Narrators Story in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe essay

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The Narrators Story in The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. (2022, Aug 01). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-narrators-story-in-the-tell-tale-heart-by-edgar-allan-poe/

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