Tell Tale Heart Essay, Research Paper
Edgar Allen Poe?s fevered imagination brought him to great heights of creativity and low depths of paranoic despair. Although he produced a relatively small volume of work, he virtually invented the horror and gothic genres and his literary legacy lives to this day. In the story of the ?Tell Tale Heart,? a mans madness is prtryed in a manner that makes you think question his motives.
The main character of the story, the narrator, has a problem with an old man, the antagonist whom he is living with. One odd part of the story is that the problem has nothing to do with the old man, how he acts or his attitude towards the narrator. It is simply one of the old man?s eyes, which is either blind or not up to one hundred percent visibility. The narrator?s description of the eye is that it resembled that of a vulture?s eye, pale blue with a film over it. He described his emotion toward the eye by saying, ?Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold.?(303) This emotion eventually drove him to madness and caused him to kill the old man.
The narrator begins to believe that he hears the old man?s heart beating while he was killing him, and after he was dead. The pounding became louder and louder and drove him crazy. The sounding of the heart forces him to tell the police officers, which are searching his house, that he killed the old man and where exactly the body was buried. This is the most ironic and unanticipated event that could have happened. The irony comes into play when his heightened sense of hearing and sober madness is the cause of his downfall. The same craze that led him to kill the old man is the same craze that led him to his demise.
We have no idea of the relationship between the old man and the narrator. Could they have been related in some way or was the narrator simply a servant that spent his days caring for the elderly man? The narrator has left a lot up to our imagination on the relationship of the characters.
The narrators? insanity has made him an extremely paranoid man, believing that everyone is out to make a mockery out of him, even though he was carrying out a flawless murder. He bragged about his preparation, and knew that the old man suspected nothing of his plan of terror and mayhem. The narrator believes that since he is able to recollect and present every detail of the events that took place, he is not insane. Because the manner in which the murder was carried out, he tries to justify his madness.
His reasoning for wanting the old man dead is without motive. He tells us, ?I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire.?(303) The narrator was coming to the realization that he had logical reason for the murder of the old man. The truth of the matter is that he knows that he cannot